An international programme of artistic exchange between the Maghreb and the Nordic countries, with potential involvement more widely across the Middle East and Northern Europe, dedicated to supporting contemporary arts practice, artistic mobility, freedom of expression and research collaboration is currently being prepared by a number of key interested institutions across Europe, the Nordic Countries and the Maghreb.

The central elements of this proposition are to build a new and meaningful network of partnerships between residency organisations, institutions and initiatives who share a common vision and purpose in contemporary arts practice, supported by research, academic collaboration and curatorial engagement.

It is proposed that the artistic residency network will consider establishing a thematic approach to the programme with a view to generating a wide artistic response to an issue of common concern. It has been suggested that the nature of socially engaged practice in North Africa and the Middle East could address and inform the impact of practice on arts infrastructure and more widely in the institution. 

The programme proposes therefore to establish a close link with the disciplines of visual culture through architecture and urbanism initially and potentially expanding into other fields of the social sciences and humanities.

The programme aims to be developed incrementally as a series of bilateral exchanges. In time these may develop into multilateral programmes. They will be disseminated through platforms dedicated to critical reflection, knowledge exchange and public engagement, supported by digital dissemination.

Discussions are also underway with key presenting venues and institutions in Europe to develop an exhibition and public programme to feature the artistic work and the discourse related to the project and its theme.

This project will form the basis for a large cooperation grant application to Creative Europe, in partnership with international funders. The project coordination is done by Arts Cabinet, Scotland

The Rabat Workshop on 13th Nov 2014:
The primary purpose of the workshop is to provide a safe space for an open, meaningful and inclusive discussion about the scope of this programme - with curators, artistic organisations and academic partners from Morocco.

The discussion will be steered through a series of proposed questions/issues that will lead to a debate which aims to inform how to establish a meaningful integration of the Moroccan partnership into this programme.

Though the workshop aims to provide a mode of free discussion and discourse, it is important that it also serves the purpose of preparing and co-conceptualising the artist residency exchange programme. It is also very important that specific questions/issues related to the Moroccan contemporary art ecology are exposed and understood.

The outcome is to ensure that a first engagement platform will have paved the way for further discussions about partnership building, programme preparation and management.

Key objectives:

 _Identification of a network of Moroccan residency spaces/initiatives;

 _Definition of models of residency practice and how they can articulate with research collaboration;

 _Sustaining a network of exchange;

 _Engagement with dissemination partners. 

AuthorCato Litangen