Casablanca is Morocco's Melting pot of cultural influences. Photo by Lidija Pisker Exploring the Moroccan Cultural Scene Tandem Shaml participant Lidija Pisker has been to Morocco with a Tandem mobility grant. Read her photo story exploring the country from Tangiers to Marrakech. Beautiful decorations of the wall in Tangiers' medina/ Photo by Lidija Pisker Tabadoul, Medina Art Gallery, Darna Theater. These are just a few of the names of the numerous marvellous cultural spaces I’ve seen during my eight-day-long trip to Morocco. I’ve travelled from Tangier all the way down to Marrakesh to explore its art and culture, to meet artists and culture enthusiasts hoping to establish connections between Morocco and my home country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Theatre Darna in Tangier. Photo by Lidija Pisker And I’ve come back home with much to think of and work on. A random piece of art in medina in Marrakesh. Photo by Lidija Pisker Tangier, which they call ‘Morocco’s culture hub’, is home to numerous art galleries. The ‘Medina Art Gallery’ is among them, known as one of the most prominent art galleries in the northern part of the country. The gallery features work of well reputed Moroccan artists as well as emerging local talents. Tabadoul cultural center in Tangier. Photo by Lidija Pisker Only a few minutes’ walk from the Gallery down to the marina, there’s a vibrant cultural space called ‘Tabadoul’, where young people create music, dance and screen movies, among other activities. When I visited the centre, a young band was having a rehearsal. They looked quite nervous about their performance, yet very excited to play. The evening before, there was an ‘Open Mic’ event. The centre promotes contemporary art and cultural exchanges between Morocco, Europe and the rest of the world. ‘Tabadoul’ is an Arabic word meaning ‘exchange.’ A band rehearsal in Tabadoul cultural centre in Tangier. Photo by Lidija Pisker Down in Fez, I have visited a number of artisanal places. The handicraft scene of Fez, including woodcarving, rug and leather production, is considered to be among the best in the world. I’ve seen women in different parts of the medina manually making rugs and bags and selling them in nearby shops. I didn’t, however, have the stomach for visiting any of the three traditional leather tanneries in the city, where skins of animals are being coloured manually. A selection of Moroccan rugs in Fez One of the many art galleries in Tangier Those two places – Tangier and Fez, seemingly similar but different, reflect the complexity of Moroccan cultural scene: it’s traditional; it’s modern; it’s both of it. An art gallery in central Fez. Photo by Lidija Pisker The city of Casablanca is a melting pot of different cultures, various influences and heritage. In July this year, for example, Morocco’s annual ‘Sbagha Bagha’ festival took place on the streets of Casablanca. The festival gave street artists from across the world the opportunity to decorate the city’s buildings. Colourful paintings gave ‘chic’ new look to retro-looking buildings I came across while walking around, and I could instantly understand why the touch of colour was welcomed by city’s residents with open arms. An art gallery in Marrakes. Photo by Lidija Pisker Deeper in the south, in Morocco’s ‘red city’ of Marrakesh, I’ve found more examples of Morocco’s contrasting traditional and modern cultural vibes – from so called Western-inspired ‘concept stores’ to art galleries exhibiting Berber heritage and praising the simplicity of nomadic lifestyle. Local artists exhibit their paintings in the souks of Fez. Photo by Lidija Pisker Marrakech has been designated as the African Capital of Culture 2020. Media reported that the city got the nomination because of its architectural, artistic and cultural legacy. And it’s not a surprise at all. An art gallery in Marrakesh. Photo by Lidija Pisker Even if the programme of events for 2020 is still unknown, I am certain it will be worth seeing. And I hope I can be there too.