The allure of Marrakech is legendary. The colors and textures, spices and sounds of the city, all awaiting discovery in dizzying souks, tickle the curiosities of travelers worldwide. It’s no surprise then, that Marrakech was my most spectacular travel experience to date. As a publisher of words there are few moments when the summary of an experience eludes written description. This was one such moment. Marrakech was a feeling, and one which surpassed exuberance.
1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Marrakech was the first edition of the Europe-born art fair on the African continent. It was so special to have been present for the fair’s “homecoming” and to have simultaneously experienced a homecoming of my own: The trip to Marrakech was my first visit to the continent since moving from Freetown to DC as a child. At 1-54 in Marrakech I witnessed the most awesome display of African panache; revelry; accomplishment; strength.
The fair was held in one of the city’s most luxurious hotel, La Mamounia. Such a glamorous backdrop was fitting to display art. Morocco’s unique mix of African, Arab, and European influence was apparent in the pan-African and international mix of artworks shown as well as the fair-goers present. In another nod to the theme of community, the art display extended beyond 1-54 and incorporated mainstay arts institutions in the local community. Concurrent exhibitions at Musee Yves Saint Laurent, Museum of Contemporary Art Al Maaden (MACAAL) (exhibition: Africa is No Island), Montresso Art Foundation (In-Discipline #1), as well as shows in local galleries, ensured the overlapping of itineraries thrice over and more.