Mohamed Faridji co-founded Atelier de l’Observatoire in 2011, around the same time we – Wong & Krier – lived and worked in Casablanca for three months. At the time we did not meet, now we do. We were attracted by Le Musée Collectif (part of Atelier de l’Observatoire) a roaming museum, housed in sea container, presently located in Parc de la Ligue Arabe, which locals still call Parc Yasmina. Faridji is an artist/activist who attempts to cultivate a collective cultural memory of Casa: Is an obsolete polyester Mickey Mouse with one ear missing a piece of trash, or does it have cultural value? Faridji tries to answer this question by collecting, archiving and displaying cultural artefacts like this one-eared Mickey. His approach is inclusive, participatory and citizen driven. We chose the Musée Collectif as location for our final group talk.
We meet in the parc, where Sophie’s brain needs to work twice as hard as in in other talks: Mohamed speaks French, Krier interviews and translates at the same time. Well done, both Sophie and Mohamed!
A talk about the absence of constructive cultural policy, cultural rights and how to deal with that. How to keep institutions that disappear – like the Casablanca Aquarium – present in the shared Casa memory? How to activate the imagination that is linked to those memories? Why? Faridji: “We need to celebrate humanity”.
Atelier de L’observatoire, Musée Collectif