Call for Applications: MADRASSA

International call for applications: MADRASSA, research and curatorial workshop with L'Atelier de l'Observatoire, Casablanca, deadline 20 February 2020

Initiated in 2015 by L’Atelier de l’Observatoire (Casablanca), Madrassa is a research programme on curatorial and museum practices in contemporary art. The programme strives to bring together a community of young arts professionals through training and networking opportunities. The training takes into consideration an evolving definition of contemporary curatorial and museum practices, shaped by the specific context of the region. It also fosters a rethinking and reflection upon the role of exhibitions, curatorial projects, as well as the writing of narratives and histories of art and culture, within an urban context.

Madrassa supports new, independent curatorial and museum practices that look beyond the dominant modes of production and dynamics of the global art world. It also seeks to make art more accessible to all. The programme proposes to explore socially-engaged visual arts practices, promote collaborative projects and rich transnational exchange, and offer a platform for experimentation to the region’s emerging curatorial talents.

Dedicated to alternative historiographical approaches, this edition will address the importance of collecting and narrating as a fundamental tool for curatorial and museum practice in the context of Africa and the Middle-East. Working through conceptual and practical considerations, the participants and trainers will engage with the Collective Museum’s collection to build with us a narrative and explore ways in which to display our collection.

The trainers for the 2020 session are:

Marie-Charlotte Calafat: Curator, Deputy Head of Collections, Head of Documents, and Museum History, Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée (Mucem), Marseille

Mariam El Nozahy, Curator, Archivist and Cultural Manager, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo

Christine Eyene, Research Fellow in Contemporary Art, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan); Artistic Director, Biennale Internationale de Casablanca

Danielle Kuijten, Co-Curator, Imagine IC, Amsterdam; President, COMCOL, ICOM’s international committee for collecting,

Bernadette Lynch, Academic and museum professional, Honorary Research Associate, University College London (UCL)

Morad Montazami, Art Historian, Curator, Chief Editor Zamân, Publishing Director,  Zamân Books

Madrassa will select ten participants who will also benefit from a residency at our partnering art spaces in Morocco.


Applications are to be sent in English to  before February 20, 2020 (midnight) and must include:

  • a resumé
  • a cover letter explaining your interest in the Madrassa programme and the themes of this session, your previous experience, as well as your professional projects (1 page).
  • curatorial proposal (1 page max). Please make sure to specify your motivations and the main ideas of the project. Your projects will be discussed during the training in Casablanca
  • you may add any other document you see fit (art or writing portfolio, etc.)

Please specify if you need to apply for a visa and/or a mobility fund for the training in Casablanca.


Madrassa is aimed at professionals (or students about to finish their studies) who wish to train or specialise in the field, and meet at least two of the following criteria:

  •  significant experience in a structure such as a museum, an arts centre, a gallery, a festival, a biennale, an artists residency, a cultural or art magazine, archives, etc.
  •  studies in cultural or arts management, anthropology or social sciences, contemporary art history or museum studies
  •  a strong interest in curatorial practices and art history
  •  an artist interested in curatorial and museum practices.

All participants must be:

  • active in the Middle East and/or Africa
  • available for twelve days of training
  • able to participate in training sessions which will be given -or translated- in English, as it is the common language of most participants and speakers.


  •  there is no age limit and no restriction with regard to nationality
  •  accommodation, half-board and per-diem during the training are covered by the programme
  •  the programme can help the participants in their application for mobility funds including (but not limited to) foreign embassies, Art Moves Africa, Afrikayna (Africa Art Line), Roberto Cimetta Fund (Tamteen), Mawred Al Thaqafy (Wijhat).


Deadline to apply: 20 February 2020

Selection: 24-26 February May 2020

Training workshop in Casablanca: 30 March to 10 April 2020

See below for more information:
Complete Guidelines to download (in english)


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