By John Owoo
(Back from Rabat – Morocco)
Visa for Music 2018 turned out to be a spectacular gathering of artists, arts professionals, academics and journalists from various parts of the world who experienced high quality performances as well as intellectually charged discussions.
In spite of budget challenges, the festival accommodated over 1,500 artists and arts professionals, who witnessed over forty performances alongside Moroccans and other visitors to the Kingdom.
Held in the Moroccan capital Rabat, Visa For Music was characterized by a rater high number of female musicians, who performed with raw passion while charming diverse audiences with penetrating voices, smart / vivacious dances, colorful costumes and magnetic stage crafts.
“Visa for Music director, Brahim El Mazned is a charismatic innovator – he has managed to put together over the past few years artists from areas of the world who will normally never meet or have a slight chance of meeting for artistic and professional exchanges”, said Ali Sawadogo, a writer from Burkina Faso.
Despite problems with timing, the King Mohammed V Theatre, Palais Tazi, Salle Bahnini, Salle Renaissance, Amnesia, Institut Cervantes, Institut Français, Villla des Arts, Hiba Laband Studio Jacques Tati among others witnessed unbridled intellectual discourse and creativity that resulted in intricately woven performances and sharing of ideas.
MASA Festival director Prof. Yacouba Konaté, El Genaina Arts and Culture director May Mostafa, Algerian cultural expert Rachid Briki, Ebène Scene director Tony Mefe, musicologist Dr. Sipho Sithole and Jazzblanca Festival director Moulay Ahmed Alami among several others moderated and participated on several issues relating to the arts.
Topics discussed during seminars, workshops and round table discussions include “Women Artists in Africa and the Middle East”, “Female Managerial and Artistic Skills”, “Arts and Culture as Vehicles for Social Peace” and “What’s the Place for Southern Artistic Players” among others.
These symposia assessed qualitatively and quantitatively the cognitive, emotional, social and other instrumental outcomes of arts projects and programmes meant to enhance the sector as they seek to empower women.
The festival, which is in its fifth year, is set to continue its aim of bringing African and Middle Eastern countries for dialogue and artistic collaboration – a move that will result in creativity that can pass as jewels on stage.
Visa for Music 2018 was held under the auspices of the Moroccan monarch, His Excellency, King Mohammed VI with support from Atlas Azawan, Hiba Foundation and many others.
Photos: Soufiane Mabrouk, Mendi Ayoubi, Zyneb Ouazzani, Yasmine EL