the United Colours of Africa

Tangier : cultural revival

Simon-Pierre Hamelin says, 1. What is the Librairie des Colonnes doing for a literary revival in Tangier? From the hopening of Librairie des Colonnes in 1949, the bookshop is involved in the literary legend of Tangier associated with the long list of writers (Moroccans, Americans, Spanish, French…) who made the city their home either permanently or for even a few months. Mohamed Choukri, Tahar Benjelloun, Paul Bowles, Jean Genet, Tennessee Williams, William Burroughs, Samuel Becket,Juan Goytisolo and so many others were and still are familiar of the bookshop.
Today Librairie des Colonnes bookshop and publishers always promote committed literature in several languages (Arabic, English, French, Spanish…). We published Jean Genet, Driss Chraibi, Mohamed Choukri, Tahar Benjelloun, Salim Jay... We just published in Arabic the young Moroccan writer and Film director Abdellah Taïa's book “A country to die”, one of the most talented writers of this nouvelle vague . It's still and even more than before a place of meeting for writers, readers and visitors where you can hear free voices from all around the world. To promote this literary revival, Librairie des Colonnes has been publishing since 2006 a literary review magazine called Nejma (who means “star” in Arabic) and became in 2010 a publishing house editing literature in Arabic, French, Spanish. Nejma and the books we publish are distributed worldwide to show the quality and vivacity of Moroccan literature and culture. We also organize 3 times a month some events: book signing, conferences, musical and played readings, writing workshops …  

2. Are there any Tangier journalists cutting their trade? The local journalists for nearly all of them aren't very serious and only copy and paste statements. They are not helping the revival and sometimes write insulting articles against the cultural actors of the city ... The media in Casablanca or Rabat are definitely more serious. Also I have very few to say about that.

3. For young creative in Tangier do they refer to go to Europe? The young creative does not refer to go to Europe as much as it was 20 years ago. More and more decide to stay here because the cultural revival is in process here and today and Europe is less dynamic and welcoming than ever. They also are very curious about the all African continent and Canada, South America, probably because Morocco tied close links and cultural with countries of Africa last few years (and the fact it's easier for them to get a visa for these countries than a Schengen visa!)

Tangier film festival says, This year, on next september, we will celebrate the 10th edition, we have four official competitions: feature film, short feature film, short documentary, short animation film. we will also launch the 1st Film Market in Morocco and in the whole maghreb region, Tangier Film Market. 1- Till now, we have only screening the films participated at the festival competitions in Cinema Riff, but from the next year we will work together in a mutual program (that we still prepare it) to encourage the youth to frequent Cinema. 2- The Festival will take place as usual in Cinema Riff, Cinema Roxy and the Cultural Center, we have a strategy to renovate old Cinemas like Alcazar and Goya, but we need funds. 3- There are many Tangier filmmakers that we would like to mention but first we would thank the director and producer Mr. Ahmed Kacem who help us to founding Tangier Film Festival. We thank also Farida belyazid (filmaker), Jamal Souissi (producer), Jilali Farhati (filmmaker)... 4- In fact, there are no Cinema industry in Tangier, but there is many independent filmmakers who need some financial support, that why we decided to launch Tangier Film Market as a networking area which can help them to meet new investors and producers.


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