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North Africa Market Main Actors & Analysis



Fondation Alliances

Alami Lazraq founded Groupe Alliances, the real estate development company, in 1994. The largest constructor of hotels in Morocco, the group has also diversified in low-income housing and has expanded outside of Morocco in Ivory Coast and Senegal. An architect by training, Mr Lazraq owns a collection of about 2000 contemporary art pieces, mostly from Morocco and the rest of Africa. He is also interested in international art, Chinese art in particular.
Fondation Alliances, a foundation backed by Groupe Alliances, supports economic, social and cultural development in the Kingdom of Morocco in the fields of solidarity, culture and health. In the arts field, Fondation Alliances financed and created the Al Maaden Sculpture Park within the Al Maaden Golf Resort, at the foot of the Atlas mountains near Marrakech. The first monumental sculpture park in Africa, it features 12 commissioned sculptures by artists from Morocco (Mahi Binebine, Hassan Darsi, Adiba Mkinsi), Egypt (Moataz Nasr), Algeria (Yazid Oulab), Argentina (Antonio Seguí), India (Sunil Gawde), France (Claude Gilli, Philippe Hiquily, Daniel Hourdé), China (Wang Keping) and Canada (Jean Brillant).
The Fondation Alliances plans to open a contemporary African art museum in 2017 that will occupy a 7500 square meter space in Marrakech, with an estimated budget of US$ 27 million.
Fondation Alliances also promotes emerging creation through its Camera Lucida biannual exhibition of emerging photography. The foundation plans to open a contemporary African art museum in 2017 that will occupy a 7500 square meter space in Marrakech, with an estimated budget of € 20 million (US$ 27 million). “This museum will be accessible to all audiences, especially the youth, and will offer an important cultural mediation programme –an initiative in line with the transmission, sharing and proximity values conveyed by the Fondation Alliances’’, says Alexandra Balafrej, Fondation Alliances general director.


Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

Inaugurated by His Majesty King Mohammed VI in Rabat in 2014, the Musée Mohammed VI d’Art Moderne & Contemporain (MMVI) is the first museum entirely dedicated to modern and contemporary art in Morocco. In a new building of classical Andalusian style with state-of-the-art facilities, the museum traces the development of Moroccan visual arts from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. Budgeted at € 17 million, the project took 10 years to complete. The inaugural exhibition, presented for six months, was titled ‘1914-2014 : 100 Years of Creation’ and featured 400 artworks by 150 Moroccan artists, including Farid Belkahia, Mohamed Chabâa, Mohamed Kacimi, Chaïbia Talal and Hassan El Glaoui.


Hassan Hajjaj artist,

Photographer Hassan Hajjaj was born in Larache, Morocco, in 1961. He moved to London at an early age, and now splits his time between London and Marrakech.

“In the last few decades, there has definitely been a change on the African art scene, within Africa and outside Africa. There is still a lot to do, but there has been a lot of light, interest, and a trend on Africa from outside. I hope it is not just a passing phase as we are here to stay.
For me, the 2005 Africa Remix, curated by Simon Njami, opened doors, and my work got shown in established museums. Shows like the African Photography Encounters in Bamako, and people like Simon Njami, among other African curators, have helped the new scene of African artists.
When museums outside Africa take interest in an African artist, the artist gets more recognition and is taken more seriously in the West. It can open more doors around the globe. My expectations for the cultural future of African countries are positive, but there is still a lot of work to do. We should try to make it even better for the next generation.’’