Upland travels to Marrakech, Morocco!


Confluence – Blog number 6 - by Laura Hudson Mackay

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Last week Archie McCall, Board Director of Upland, and I travelled to Marrakech, to continue the Confluence journey and to look further at opportunities for Upland members in Morocco as part of Peripheral Vision, which aims to develop partnerships and mutually beneficial relationships with international artists, artist collectives, organisations, galleries and museums.

                              Archie and I arriving at Marrakech Menara Airport

The first day we were invited to an event hosted by ‘Initiative Kifach?’, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) involving a set of ambitious young Moroccan people in arts and business, who look at how to better their lives working together and making good choices.  When we arrived at the venue; Dar Saida, a beautiful literary Café in the new town, I was nervous, having never spoken in public before, but I needn’t have worried, the place was full of energy and positivity and a big welcome.  Archie was first up to speak to the audience of around a hundred young people and introduced Upland and then I spoke about Confluence, outlining its aims and aspirations.

                                           Image: Dar Saida, Literary Café, Semlalia

                              Houssain Belabess – Founder of Initiative Kifach?

                                          Archie McCall – Upland Board Director

The trip provided another opportunity to meet up with our Marrekchi counterparts in Confluence, Mehdi and Houssain.  We were able to catch up on each other’s progress with the project and find out what new ideas were emerging, as well as plan for their trip to Scotland in September and what we can achieve together.

During the week-long trip, Archie and I met many people and visited a number of galleries and art spaces and even had time to host a Confluence party, where a wonderful group of people met together on the roof terrace at Riad Romm’an. Late in the evening, Mehdi entertained us with stories in the salon and we enjoyed some traditional African drumming.

We are now home in Scotland, and our time spent in Morocco feels like a dream. We enjoyed a successful trip, one where we made new friends and good contacts, so excited for the next Confluence meet up.