Morocco’s coastal town Essaouira has been invited to join the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative Cities network. It was one of 66 new global municipalities invited to join. In order to be considered, requirements are for a city to have copious offerings in one of the following categories: gastronomy, music, literature, cinema, folk art or design. In total there are 246 Creative Cities worldwide.
Essaouira’s 18th-century artist colony on the Atlantic Coast attracts designers, writers, intellectuals, and cultural creatives. The town recently hosted the 4th edition of the Les Nuits Photographiques. This year Moroccan photographer Khalil Nemmaoui of the Beni Mellal region was chosen to showcase his iconic 2009 “La Maison de l’Arbre” (The Tree House) series.
Essaouira’s medina, rocky coast that is ideal for hikers and picnicking, birdlife and ocean sports make it favorite for photographers. Essaouira also hosts a variety of music festivals annual such as the Gnaoua Festival and the Atlantic Andalusia Festival. The Gnaoua Festival highlights music rooted in North and West African sounds while Atlantic Andalusia Festival focuses on Judeo-Arabic music.