The Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Arts (the MMPVA) currently has its home in the the El Badia Palace, in the southern portion of the medina of Marrakech. The palace is in fact a ruin that originally housed Ahmad al-Mansur, the sultan of the Saadi dynasty, so it’s good that some part of it will be put to artistic use.
The current exhibition is entitled “Traces of the Future” – a somewhat contradictory title. The artworks combine social observations with an involvement in issues that constitute the major challenges of tomorrow’s society. It has been hailed as “a celebration of the Moroccan contemporary art with visionary overtones”.
Traces of the Future brings together seven artists: Leila Alaoui, Younes Baba-Ali, Amina Benbouchta, Mounir Fatmi Ahmed Hajoubi, Jamila Lamrani Abdelaziz Zerrou. The exhibition runs until September 30th, 2015
In 2016 The Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Arts (MMPVA) is scheduled to open in its new home: an impressive free-standing space designed by Sir David Chipperfield.
We publish the recipes for the Moroccan dishes served in our riad in Marrakech. Check out our website for the latest –
Baghrir (or beghrir) Moroccan pancakes
Carrot and coriander soup
Moroccan lamb tagine
Tagin of chicken with preserved lemons and olives
Each June the charming port town of Essaouira comes to life with the rhythmic beats of the Gnaoua World Music Festival This year’s festival took place from May 14 to 17 and the final concert took place Sunday, May 17th. The festival has become so popular that it has been described as the “Woodstock of Morocco”. You can hear some of the music on videos uploaded to their site.
The Gnaoua festival is a veritable melting pot of musical influences and inspiration. Foreign artists mingle and play music with the mystical Gnaoua musicians. The Gnaoua masters invite jazz, blues, reggae, pop, hip-hop and rock musicians to explore new paths through impromptu jam sessions.
Over the years, the festival has become bigger and bigger with up to 500,000 visitors to Essaouira over four days. Unlike other festivals many of the performances are free to attend.
Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix were both inspired and influenced by this sleepy town of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast of Morocco in the 60’s and 70’s. It has a magical quality that transports you to another time. It’s relaxed and easy to navigate with no feeling of being rushed as in most modern cities.
The Gnaoua are a spiritual brotherhood of mystics… for more on their background as mystics and healers https://www.fest300.com/festivals/gnaoua-world-music-festival
…their hypnotic repetition of a series of chants in Arabic can create a trance-like state. I’m going to have to go there!
e have written about the work of Hamid Khantour previously. We now have a mini-exhibition of his paintings in the small courtyard of our riad, Riad Sapphire and Spa in Marrakech. They may be purchased by our clients – he will come and roll up the paintings for transport home.
If you’re in the market for some leather bags – but don’t particularly want what is on offer in the souks – go to Guèliz. There are a couple of stores along the main shopping street, Mohamed V, around the crossroads with Rue de la Liberté, that offer modern styles and much better quality than in the souks.
The dyes don’t run, the leather doesn’t smell bad and the long-term quality is far superior. They don’t have designer labels – but do designer labels really matter especially if you’re saving a lot of money? If what you want is a good quality bag in terms of design, leather, and style, you will be happy you made the trip.
Place Vendôme in Marrakech has been around for years – they offer bags, belts, leather jackets and even saddles – all at much lower prices than in Europe.
141, av. Mohammed V, corner of Rue de la Liberté, Marrakesh, Morocco
Tel.: 05 24 43 52 63
Already #3 on Tripadvisor, this restaurant on the road between Riad Laarous and Bab Doukkala has shot up on the popularity list. It is easily accessible from our riad, Riad Sapphire and Spa. From the square at Riad Laarous, take the road west that leads past the Mohamed V high school. The restaurant is on your left-hand side. You enter via a wide corridor and turn right into a really large courtyard – with shady trees and palms.
The menu can be described as nouvelle Moroccan cuisine – a blend of traditional and modern Moroccan cooking. Dishes are beautifully presented – like works of art.
It’s slightly expensive and does not have an alcohol licence.
Open from noon to 11 p.m. Closed on Wednesdays
86, rue El Gza Arset lhiri Bab Doukkala – Marrakech, 186 Rue el Gza, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco
Fairly new restaurant in the medina of Marrakech. Good place to stop for lunch on your way to the Medersa Ben Youssef, Marrakech Musuem or the Maison de la Photographie.
Recommended by clients who told us it was a great find – good food, good value, good wifi and nice music.
There are several levels, including two rooftop terraces. The staff is friendly and speak good English.
62 Sidi Abdelaziz Amsfah, Marrakech, Morocco
Cell: 06 61 34 42 46
Nomad restaurant in Marrakech – newly opened near the main square, Place Jemaa el Fna’
Already receiving great reviews, this restaurant just off the south east corner of Place des Épices, is a welcome addition to the restaurant scene in the medina with its mix of Moorish flavors and spices with contemporary cooking techniques.
You will be pleased to discover interesting new takes on classic dishes , for instance the Tunisian brik – a vegetarian pastille filled with beetroot and other vegetables. It all makes for a refreshing change to typical Moroccan dishes – something you come to appreciate after you’ve been a while in Marrakech.
The restaurant is pleasantly decorated – simple and chic. In the mid-price range, it’s good value.
To find it, take the small street tucked in the southeast corner of the Places des Épices and walk about 5 paces to a smart shop window that is a kitchen supply store, called Chabi Chic. Here you’ll find some of the tableware as well as beautifully packaged quality spices and oils as used in the restaurant.
The restaurant is upstairs – with a salon and some dining areas, then higher up are two roof terraces with an interesting view over the Place des Epices, the entrance to the carpet market formerly the old slave market.
1 Derb Aarjan. Marrakech Médina
Tel. +212 5 24 38 16 09
Regards Orientalists – art exhibition in Marrakech
Between December 26th and January 5th, 2015, art exhibition being held at the prestigious Hotel Selman just outside Marrakech.
The exhibition is a collaboration between the Selman Hotel and the Matisse Art Gallery with the theme “Regards Orientalistes” .
Selman Hotel is at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, a palace with gardens and beautiful design by Jacques Garcia and built by the best artisans. It also boasts a stable of gorgeous Arabian horses.
Worth a trip to visit.
Km 5, Route d’Amizmis
Route du Barrage
+212 524 45 96 00
Link to Selman Facebook
Matisse Art Gallery
61 Rue de Yougoslavie, N° 43 Passage Ghandouri, Marrakesh, Morocco
Ouazazarte is not the only place in Morocco connected to the film industry.
Kasbah Films is a production services company based in Tangiers, Morocco and founded in 2006. They have recently signed on to “Morocco,” a psychological thriller set against the backdrop of the 2008 economic meltdown.
Told over 72 hours, “Morocco” turns on Simon Collins a wealthy Irish property developer who travels undercover to North Africa on the eve of the financial collapse of 2008 to embezzle funds from his company before it collapses. But Simon’s plans unravel as he comes across Karim, a local property developer and shrewd businessman who quickly discovers the scam and sets off to give Simon a lesson.
Can’t wait to see it.