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Moroccan museum hosts certainly one of Africa’s first exhibitions of Cuban artwork

Moroccan museum hosts certainly one of Africa’s first exhibitions of Cuban artwork


  • The exhibition at Morocco’s Mohammed VI Museum of Trendy and Up to date Artwork showcases Cuban artwork.
  • It represents one of many first shows of Cuban art work at an African museum.
  • Themes explored within the exhibition vary from isolation and financial embargo to heritage and id.

When Morocco ‘s King Mohamed VI visited Havana in 2017, Cuban-American gallery proprietor Alberto Magnan impressed him with a “full immersion” within the Caribbean island’s artwork and tradition, drawing a line between the cultural and historic themes tackled by Cuban artists and people from throughout Africa.

Seven years after that encounter, one of many first exhibitions of Cuban artwork at an African museum is exhibiting at Morocco’s Mohammed VI Museum of Trendy and Up to date Artwork.

It is a part of an effort to offer guests a view past the European artists who usually stay a part of the college curriculum within the North African nation and different former French colonies, museum director Abdelaziz El Idrissi stated.

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“The Moroccan public would possibly know Giacometti, Picasso or impressionists,” El Idrissi stated. The museum has proven all of them. “We’ve seen them and are in search of different issues, too.”

The Mohammed VI Museum of Trendy and Up to date Artwork, the place a Cuban artwork exhibition is being held, is seen on April 1, 2024, in Rabat. (AP Picture/Mosa’ab Elshamy)

The Cuba present accommodates 44 items by Wifredo Lam — a serious exhibiting of the Afro-Cuban painter’s work greater than a 12 months earlier than New York Metropolis’s Museum of Trendy Artwork will honor him with a profession retrospective present in 2025.

“We’re sort of beating MoMA to the punch,” Magnan stated.

The Morocco present additionally marks the primary time that the work of one other luminary, Jose Angel Toirac, is being displayed outdoors Cuba. Beforehand, his work depicting the nation’s late anti-capitalist president Fidel Castro within the iconography of American ads and shopper tradition weren’t allowed off the island.

Different works in “Cuban Artwork: On the opposite aspect of the Atlantic” — open till June 16 — present prevalent themes in Cuban artwork starting from isolation and financial embargo to heritage and id.

In Cuba, nearly half of the inhabitants identifies as combined race and greater than 1 million persons are Afro-Cuban. The island’s variety is a recurring topic for its painters and artists, together with Lam. That is why it was necessary to indicate his work — together with work of African-inspired masks and use of vibrant coloration — in Africa, Magnan stated.

Morocco is amongst international locations which have proven new curiosity in Cuban artwork since the USA restored diplomatic ties with Cuba in 2014 and Castro died in 2016. American artwork sellers and main museums flocked to the beforehand difficult-to-visit island.

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However the intrigue was curbed by the COVID-19 pandemic and former U.S. President Donald Trump’s choice to redesignate the nation as a “state sponsor of terrorism,” Magnan stated.

In the meantime, Morocco has elevated funding for arts and tradition in an effort to spice up its “geopolitical smooth energy” in North Africa and past.

In each Morocco and Cuba, twentieth century artists responded to political transition — decolonization in Morocco, revolution in Cuba — by drawing from historical past and interesting in traits shaping up to date artwork worldwide.

However the present present doesn’t contact on Moroccan-Cuban diplomatic relations, which have been restored following King Mohamed VI’s 2017 go to to Cuba.

The international locations had lower ties a long time in the past over Cuba’s place on the disputed Western Sahara, which Morocco claims. Cuba has traditionally skilled Sahrawi troopers and docs and backed the Polisario Entrance’s agenda on the United Nations.

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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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