4th International Biennial of Casablanca 2018


Tales from Water Margins

The 4th International Biennial of Casablanca led by artistic director Christine Eyene is entitled Tales from Water Margins. The theme is inspired by Ifitry, the biennial’s artists residency located near Essaouira, facing the Atlantic Ocean. The biennial proposes to reflect on Morocco’s geographic position at the crossroad of the Maghrib, sub-Saharan Africa and Europe, and how this translates in the arts. It also examines the country’s historical relationship with the notions of travel and transit, from 14th century traveller Ibn Battuta (1304-c.1368 / 77), one the world’s first geographers, to the current position of Morocco as one of the gateways to, and gatekeepers of, fortress Europe.

The curatorial project builds on prior research and interest in the history and contemporary experiences of insular territories like Reunion Island, ‘pre-Brexit’ Britain and Japan. The title of the biennial draws from encounters with cultures from the Edo era (between 1603 and 1868) in Japan. Among the literature and prints that emerged from this period was Suikōden or Water Margins, an adaptation and illustrations of a 14th century Chinese novel attributed to Shi Nai'an (c.1296-1372) and Luo Guanzhong (c. 1330–1400) chronicling the prowess of outlaws operating from a marsh-edged mountain, fighting against tyranny, and adopting a strategic relation to topography similar to the one later found in Maroon resistance.

Without literally referencing the adapted novel, the biennial borrows one of its translated titles as a metaphor for the current state of spaces that exist at the margin of what is considered cultural mainstreams. In this respect, it also invites to examine interconnections between islands and the power relations at play in their interactions with mainland territories. 


Tales from Water Margins will take the form a multidisciplinary ‘laboratory’ encompassing spaces for reflection, creative processes, as well as exhibitions of existing and newly created pieces. The biennial exhibitions are developed in collaboration with the curatorial committee selected by Eyene and composed of Dr. Ethel Brooks, Yasmina Naji, Ema Tavola and Françoise Vergès.


With this 4th edition, the International Biennial of Casablanca ambitions to position itself as an artistic platform both inscribed within its local context and open to the world at large.

The 4th International Biennial of Casablanca will take place from 27 October to 2 December 2018.


CE Aug17.jpg



© 2018 Biennale Internationale de Casablanca | Tous droits réservés.

© 2020 Biennale Internationale de Casablanca | Tous droits réservés.