Organic Knowledge: Project update

Association the Minority Globe, Dec. 7, 2023

Through art and research-based actions and creative workshops, Organic Knowledge aims to constitute a collaborative archive documenting the material and immaterial culture of migrant communities in the Maghreb.

Through art and research-based actions and creative workshops, Organic Knowledge aims to constitute a collaborative archive documenting the material and immaterial culture of migrant communities in the Maghreb, by promoting a creative approach to research on migratory problematics.

The core research revolves around personal narratives, cultural practices, lifestyles and life experiences of migrant communities in Morocco, which remain mostly absent from scientific literature even though a study of these phenomena would provide new avenues for reflection on our understanding of migration.

Organic Knowledge answers questions such as: How can experiences based on movement and adaptation/survival in extreme situations inspire solutions on a global scale? With what ethics and methodology can we work with and learn from victims of systemic violence? How can marginalized cultural practices participate in inventing new narratives that challenge dominant discourses? How can life practices and extreme adaptation help to invent a more inclusive and fair society?

Organic Knowledge undertook so far two art and research residencies in Tanger , the Rif region and Tiznit. The next residency is planned in Oujda and Casablanca.

Artists-researchers involved : Mathangi Krishnamurty - Emeka Okereke, Omar Berrada - M'barek Bouhchichi, Wiame Haddad - Léa Morin and Yemoh Odoi.

Local Partners : Darna association (Tangier), L’Blend (Tiznit) and AMCA (Oujda). The result of these artistic residencies will be presented in the form of a public program at LE 18 Derb El Ferrane, Marrakech in April 2024.

Residency #2 Rif-Tiznit

© The Minority Globe
© The Minority Globe

Bouhchichi and Berrada’s research unfolds questions on the coexistence of black and non-sedentary communities, their historical and social experiences between northern and southern Morocco as well as empirical evidence of their presence entailed in the landscape. This research primarily relies on artisanal practises informed by those communities that can be perceived as an act of resistance and visibility.

The three-week art and research residency concluded with a series of creative workshops with Tiznit’s youth, whose artistic productions have been shared in a public gathering and a dinner to conclude the activities.

© The Minority Globe
© The Minority Globe

M’barek Bouhchichi is a visual artist whose work focuses on the body and its social and political representation within a given environment. Identity, corporeality and otherness are central to his work. His work has recently been exhibited at Savvy Contemporary (Berlin), Kulte Gallery and Editions (Rabat), Goodman Gallery (Cape Town), Centre Pompidou (Paris), among others. He is currently based in Tahannaout.

Omar Berrada is a writer and curator whose work focuses on the politics of translation and intergenerational transmission. He is the author of the poetry collection Clonal Hum, and the editor or co-editor of several books, including The Africans and La Septième Porte [The Seventh Gate] a posthumously published history of Moroccan cinema by Ahmed Bouanani. He currently lives in New York.

Residency #1 Tangier

Krishnamurty and Okereke conducted research on the idea of a moving and labile cartography in the context of a cosmopolitan city, Tangier, caught between the two shores of the Mediterranean sea.

By meeting important cultural and community figures, as well as pacing the city and its outskirts, the duo aims to deconstruct cliches associated with Tangier, being still predominantly defined through the lens of its orientalist past glory or its international border crisis.

© The Minority Globe
© The Minority Globe

The research is inseparable from a participatory practice implemented within the Organic Knowledge workshops which brought together 8 participants and ended with a community gathering presenting theatre, poetry and singing selected by the participants. The productions from the workshops will be available on the project's online platform (to be released on April 24).

© Dior Thiam
© Dior Thiam

Emeka Okereke is a Nigerian visual artist and scholar who lives and works between Lagos and Berlin. His work has been exhibited in biennales and art festivals in cities across the world, notably Lagos, Bamako, Cape Town, London, Berlin, Brussels, Johannesburg, New York, Washington, Barcelona and Paris. In 2015, he participated at the 56th Venice Biennale, in the context of an installation titled A Trans-African Worldspace. Okereke is the founder and artistic director of Invisible Borders Trans-African Project and host of the Nkata Podcast Station.

Mathangi Krishnamurthy is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras. She holds a PhD in anthropology from The University of Texas at Austin. Her areas of interest include the anthropology of work and gender, and medical anthropology. Her book "1-800-Worlds: The Making of the Indian Call Centre Economy" published by Oxford University Press in 2018 chronicles the labour practices, life-worlds, and media atmospheres of Indian call centre workers

Feb. 23, 2024, 4:18 p.m.