Morocco’s Asilah Art Festival, an Annual Summertime Destination

Asiliah Arts Festival

Morocco’s annual Asilah Arts Festival is just around the corner. Official dates have yet to be announced however the festival’s tentative timeframe is late July 2019. Asilah is a fortified town on the Northwest Coast of Morocco, just 46 kilometers south of Tangier. This charming artist colony is known for being one of the country’s premier artist enclaves along with Essaouira. It’s ramparts and charming medina ‘s streets are lined with art galleries, boutiques that offer artisanal crafts, small restaurants, riads, and cafes.

The Asilah art festival began in 1978 when legendary Moroccan Modern artist and photographer Mohammed Melehi invited friends to paint on Asilah’s whitewashed walls.

In the summertime, Asiliah explodes with global music and paint. Artists flock from all corners of Morocco to paint wall murals throughout the medina. The Asiliah Arts Festival also promotes cross-cultural exchange between Moroccans and visitors from abroad. Each year a country is chosen to showcase their artwork, crafts, and heritage. The festival also hosts politicians, journalists, and writers. Conferences and workshops are organized to teach writing, painting, poetry, and other art disciplines. During the festival, the Bouland Al Haidari and Tchicaya Utam’si prizes are awarded to young Arab and African poets.

The Asilah art festival began in 1978 when legendary Moroccan Modern artist Mohammed Melehi and photographer turned politician Mohamed Benaïssa, invited friends to paint on Asilah’s whitewashed walls.

 

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