Aadel Essaadani holds a diploma of in-depth studies in urban sociology "Spaces, societies and cities in the Arab world" (University of Tours, France) and a master's degree in urban and country planning (University of Perpignan, France). His doctoral thesis (not defended) was on "Behaviors and attitudes of individuals in the public space of Casablanca" and on self-presentation and the modalities of social interactions between individuals. Aadel is a cultural policy consultant, technical scenographer and educational director of training at the Institut des Métiers du Spectacle (France, Morocco). He led many training and consulting projects for cultural projects and policies in France and Morocco. In November 2014, 2016 and 2018, Aadel organized, with the Racines association, the "General States of Culture in Morocco". Currently, he is the senior researcher for a research project entitled “Arts and Power: Research on the instrumentalization of art and culture in Morocco" funded by The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS). The research team members are Dounia Benslimane (cultural operator) and Mohamed Sammouni (political sociologist and journalist).
Our team includes partners from NGOs and civil society organisations, Co-Investigators, administrators; MADAR is co-directed by Mariangela Palladino (Principal Investigator) and Laura Jeffery.
Amy Coquaz is the interim MADAR Network Coordinator. She is a writer, a translator and currently in the last stages of a PhD in Creative Writing at Keele University. Her PhD thesis, entitled ‘Toi: a novel,’ comprises of a novel, set in Montréal and exploring the relationship between a mother and a daughter, and a dissertation which analyses the ways in which languages share the page in some contemporary Montréal novels. She will soon begin a postdoctoral project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, at Concordia University, Montréal. Amy has published two articles on linguistically conscious writing: ‘“I am the sum of my languages” (Hoffman 1989:273) – Bilingual Writing: Transitional Spaces and Reconciliation’ in Writing in Practice and ‘Troubled and Troubling Texts: Writing Absence in Martine Delvaux’s Blanc dehors and Toi (Amy Coquaz)’ in The London Journal of Canadian Studies.
Anastasia Valassopoulos is Senior Lecturer in World Literatures at the University of Manchester. Her research is on the postcolonial literature and culture of the Middle East. She is also very interested in the wider cultural production and reception of Arab film and music. Recent publications include work on the role of cinema in the Palestinian resistance movement, anti-colonial feminism in North Africa, as well as film, revolution and music in the Egyptian context (with Dalia Mostafa). She is currently working on a book-length project entitled 'Palestine in the Popular Imagination'.
Dounia Benslimane studied General Medicine and graduated in 2004 from the Faculty of Medicine of Casablanca. Then she worked eight years in the pharmaceutical industry until 2011. In 2010, she co-founded Racines, an association for cultural development in Morocco and Africa, with Aadel Essaadani. She worked as its executive director (2013-2019), after having occupied various positions in cultural and artistic structures. Dounia began her career in cultural management as a self-taught woman before obtaining the European Diploma in administration of cultural projects (Belgian Association Marcel Hicter, 2014). She has published articles on cultural policies, freedom of expression and creation, artistic education, live arts, etc. and has actively participated in the design and implementation of numerous cultural development projects. Currently, she is participating in a research project, entitled “Arts and Power: Research on the instrumentalization of art and culture in Morocco," with Aadel Essaadani (cultural policy expert) and Mohamed Sammouni (political sociologist and journalist). The research is funded by The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS). Find out more about Dounia here.
Graziella Rapacioli joined Caritas Algeria in 2017 and became Secretary General in July 2018. She is trained as an accountant and holds a master’s degree in economy from the University of Milan. She has been the director of human resources in big Italian companies, before setting out herself on an entrepreneurial adventure. From 1998 to 2016, Graziella co-directed ‘H&S Qualità nel Sofware,’ a company based in Italy that specialises in IT and that, today, employs around fifty people, with a turnover of 50 million euros.
Hassen Boubakri is Professor of Geography and Migration studies at the University of Sousse (Tunisia), and Associate Professor at the University of Sfax (Tunisia). He has more than 25 years of experience in teaching, research, participating in and/or leading research projects and programs in different migration fields. He has coordinated and facilitated academic and public events and activities, such as research programs, international conferences, national training workshops and summer schools. He works with international and national partners: Tunisian, African and European universities and research centres, the EU, IOM, ICMPD, North African and Mediterranean academic networks, etc. He was a Visiting Professor at TAPRI (Tampere Peace Research Institute, 2018); the University Ça Foscari of Venice/Italy (2002-2020); the University of Nice Antipolis/France (2015); the University of Agha Khan/London/UK (2008) and the University of Poitiers/France (1999). He is currently the Chairman of the Tunis Centre for Migration and Asylum (CeTuMA). His research interests include: irregular migration, asylum, refugees, and migration policies carried out by destination, transit or origin countries, on the North and South shores of the Mediterranean; international migration flows in the Maghreb area and its neighborhoods (the EU, the Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan Africa), and their management by States and International Organizations (UNHCR, ILO, IOM, etc.).
Khaled Benmakrelouf is an economist, he holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Lounici Ali (Algeria). He joined Research Center in Applied Economics for Development (CREAD) in 2018 as a researcher, he is a member of the macroeconomics division where he works on economic integration. His research work focuses on monetary and fiscal policy, macroeconomics issues, financial economics especially Islamic finance, public economics as well as on issues related to innovation where he took part in several national surveys. Previously he was an associate professor in the department of economics (2012-2017) at the University of Lounici Ali and a lecturer (2017-2018) at the University of Mouloud Mammeri (Algeria), where he teaches mainly public economics, macroeconomics, monetary economics, and financial economics. He also served as a budget inspector (Ministry of finance) from 2014 to 2017.
Khaled Menna is an economist and senior research fellow (HDR) at CREAD (Algeria). At the start of his career, Khaled was interested in economy financing issues (bank financing, foreign direct investment and fiscal policy) and its relation to economic growth. Economic policymaking, its interaction with a rentier, mostly budgetary, economy and the impact of institutions and inflation in rentier states have also made up part of his research activities. Other aspects of the economy, mostly relating to unregistered economy and employment, have formed a significant part of his publications. He has been called to lead projects on innovation in the energy sector, on the integration of university graduates and the job market and on questions relating to economic diversification and the public-private partnership. Recently, he has begun to investigate migration issues, in particular the perception of Europe amongst migrants and forced displacement in North Africa. He has published two works on monetary literature and private investment in Algeria, a chapter on unregistered employment and articles on the rentier State, inflation, FDI and attractiveness. Currently, he is the Deputy Director of CREAD.
Laura Jeffery is Professor of Anthropology of Migration at the University of Edinburgh. Her previous research focused on intangible cultural heritage and human-environment relations in the context of protracted displacement. Her relevant publications include a recent coedited special issue of Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture on Creative Engagement with Migration (2019). Since 2016 she has worked in Morocco with Mariangela Palladino and Sébastien Bachelet: firstly on an ESRC-AHRC Forced Displacement grant called Arts for Advocacy: Creative Engagement with Forced Displacement in Morocco, in collaboration with GADEM (Groupe antiraciste d'accompagnement et de défense des étrangers et migrants) in Rabat, and secondly on an AHRC Knowledge Exchange and Impact grant called MARAM: Mobilising Access to Rights for Artists in Morocco, in collaboration with The Minority Globe in Casablanca. Visit artsforadvocacy.org to view virtual exhibitions and to download a creative arts, migration, and advocacy toolkit.
Mairi O’Gorman holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh. Her doctoral research focused on creolization and intimacy in Seychelles and among the transnational Seychellois diaspora. During fieldwork, she consulted for Seychelles Heritage Foundation on their after-school programme, which introduced children to traditional Creole art forms and creative expressions. She has a long-standing interest in creative approaches to displacement and migration, and has worked as Research Assistant on the GCRF-funded research project Arts For Advocacy. In her spare time, she writes poetry and creative non-fiction, and co-organises Poetry and Place, a reading and writing group based at the University of Edinburgh.
Maria Flood is a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Keele University. She holds degrees from Trinity College Dublin and the University of Cambridge, and she taught in ENS Lyon before being awarded a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Cornell University. She has been Programme Director for Film Studies at Keele since January 2020. She is an established scholar of world cinema and political violence, and has published widely on French and Algerian cinemas of conflict, including her 2017 monograph, ‘France, Algeria, and the Moving Image: Screening Histories of Violence’. She has also published articles on cinema and torture, colonial and postcolonial cinema, terrorism and spectator affect, and gender and violence in Maghrebi film. Maria is currently working on a funded project entitled ‘Radical Screens’, that examines the role of emotion in documentary and fiction films that feature face-to-face encounters with extremists, as well as a student-facing monograph on the 2016 film ‘Moonlight’.
Mariangela Palladino is Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial and Cultural Studies at the University of Keele. Her fields of expertise include migration and displacement, participatory methods and African literatures. She was Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded project ‘Responding to Crisis: Forced Migration and the Humanities in the Twenty-First Century’; Co-Investigator on the AHRC-ESRC funded project Arts for Advocacy: Creative Engagement with Forced Displacement in Morocco and an AHRC Knowledge Exchange and Impact project MARAM: Mobilising Access to Rights for Artists in Morocco – both led by Laura Jeffery. These projects explored forced displacement, the role of the arts and the use of creative methods. Mariangela is also Principal Investigator for the AHRC-GCRF Development and Inception Awards to support the development and inception of the MADAR Network Plus. Mariangela has published on migration and mobility. Most recently, she co-edited a special issue of Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture on Creative Engagement with Migration (2019) and her work is included in the EUP edited collection Refugee Imaginaries. Research Across the Humanities (2019).
Mehdi Lahlou, PhD, is an economist with expertise in the analysis of irregular migration dynamics and in related policies in the Mediterranean and between Europe and Africa. He co-wrote the first report published in 2002 by the Migration Department of the International Labour Organization devoted to irregular migration from Africa. He coordinated the returnees programme, “Returning to New Opportunities”, in Morocco (2018-2020). He has formerly been a professor at INSEA and he is currently senior researcher at Mohamed V University, Rabat. He is a member of the Bureau of the International Association of Migration (AMI), Morocco. He is also a member of the Global Migration Group of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), Brussels.
Mohamed Benslama is an entrepreneur, musician, teacher of cinema in the School of Art in Tunisia, and founder of several networks in the cultural field. After studying cinema and psychology, he directed and participated in the production of several Tunisian and international films. Aware of the major challenges of cultural policies, he launched the Tunisian Cultural Observatory in 2015, a platform bringing together cultural actors, promoting a participative and inclusive cultural policy, under the association of Our Culture First. He conducted a study on cultural practices with a focus on the south of Tunisia. In June 2016, he cofounded La Fabrique Art Studio to promote young artists and artistic creations. La Fabrique is a collaborative space dedicated to artists and musicians for rehearsals, live recording and bookings. As executive director for Our Culture First, Mohamed is committed to structuring the cultural sector by mobilizing the key players and by participating in the various initiatives implemented by the government, private sector, and civil society in Tunisia and in the MENA region. Currently, he is contributing to the establishment of an African network on cultural policies and to the publication of the inventory of cultural policies in the MENA Region. He has received an award for cultural expertise from UNESCO Tunisia and he serves as mentor and consultant for EU funded projects.
Dr Mohamed Saïb Musette is an Algerian sociologist. He is the Research Director at the Research Center in Applied Economics for Development (CREAD) in Algiers, Algeria. His research interests include youth, the labor market and international migrations. As a researcher, he has delivered more than a hundred lectures at universities in Algeria, Africa and Europe. He has published some fifty articles in national and international scientific journals as well as twelve collective books, including four on international migrations. He is a reviewer for many national and international scientific journals. He acts also as national consultant for several departments of the Algerian government. He is the national expert on international migrations for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as part of the EUROMED Migration III & IV program. He has produced twenty-five technical reports as international expert for UN agencies (UNDP, ILO, World Bank, UNESCO, FAO and UNIFEM), the European Union and the African Union.
Monia Zergane has a degree in humanities and social sciences from the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon. She is in expert in designing information systems. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in modern literature and a diploma in teaching French as a second language. Monia has worked as a journalist in both print and digital publications. She has worked in the field of economic intelligence and for communication agencies in Algeria and in France. She joined Caritas Algeria in September 2018, as Education/Youth project manager in Caritas Algiers. In September 2019, she joined the National Office of Caritas Algeria as support and project quality officer.
Olfa Arfaoui is an award winner Tunisian film producer, and women’s initiatives expert with more than 10 years’ experience in designing, managing, implementing projects, and building multi-actor partnerships in the MENA region. She has in-depth knowledge of gender diversity in the economy and society; of impact-driven projects using art and culture for social change; and of managing agile and remote teams within complex frameworks. She worked as a country manager for the Women Economic Integration Programme of the German Development Corporation from 2014 to 2019. In 2018, she was nominated as a changemaker as part of the ‘Challenging Norms, Powering Economies’ initiative, organised by Ashoka, the Open Society Foundation, and UN Women, for her efforts in empowering women and girls. She serves as president for the International Human Development, which deals with women, peace, and security projects. Her passion for empowering girls and women, music, and arts led her to cofound La Fabrique Art Studio, based in Tunis, with a flagship programme for women and girls in the electronic music industry.
After completing a Masters in Marketing and Communication at the University of Hassan II in Casablanca, Rajaa aimed for a career in the cultural sector and therefore began a doctoral thesis which dealt with the following problematic: ‘the factors that influence the consumer’s behaviour in the artistic cultural sphere.’ In parallel, she obtained a European Diploma in the administration of cultural projects organised by the Belgian association Marcel Hicter in Northern Ireland, Iceland and Greece. Graduate of ACAM in Venice (Art Cinema = Action + Management)’s 16th training programme on the theme of ‘Re-think your Cinema’, organised by the CICAE (Confédération internationale des cinémas d'art et d'essai), she went on to be the general coordinator of the training programme (operation/distribution) within the Agence Digitale du Film Marocain (Digital Agency of Moroccan Cinema) in Rabat. It is worth noting her participation in the organisation of several cultural events in Morocco, each as impactful as the next. For example, the General States of Culture with the Racines association in 2018, which was a great success. During her free time, Rajaa is co-writing a hybrid web-series, which deals with the arts, human rights, civic education and the economy.
Sébastien Bachelet is a Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. He has been engaged in ethnographic research on migration in Morocco and the wider Maghreb region since 2011, exploring issues around uncertainty, illegality, and immobility. He has published on political subjectivity and migrants’ organisations (2018), trust amongst irregular migrants (2019), transit and migrants’ existential mobility (2019), and participation in arts-based projects (2019, with Prof. Jeffery). He is also co-investigator on MARAM: Mobilising Access to Rights for Artists in Morocco (GCRF 2019-2020), a collaborative project between the universities of Edinburgh, Manchester and Keele with the Morocco-based cultural association The Minority Globe.