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Morocco was under French protectorate until 1956. The French colonial presence arguably suppressed a Moroccan national identity, the dominant languages in Morocco are Arabic, Berber and French, which has contributed to a hybrid culture of mixed identities in the country. Mind the Gap asks what forms does this blending of cultures take? Does this represent contemporary Moroccan identity, or a colonial legacy?
Through a series of commissioned digital drawings for Liverpool Arab Arts Festival 2022, Benhamza explores how the urban environment of Casablanca reveals these paradoxes, and how these identities are revealed in different parts of the city: at home, the street, school, offices. Mind the Gap is an ongoing study into the behaviors of diverse social groups through drawing, illustrating the everyday relationship between language and the urban environment.
Fatima Zahra Benhamza (1987, Casablanca) is a Moroccan architect and artist who explores the complexities of the urban environment through architectural drawing, collage and illustration. Since 2019, she has undertaken artistic residencies including: Atelier de l’Observatoire, Casablanca (2019), Le Cube Independent Room, Rabat (2020), Andreas Zust Bibliothek, Switzerland, (2021). In 2021 she exhibited her commissioned work Positive Pandemics at Liverpool Arab Arts Festival. Fatima was shortlisted for the 2021 Mustaqbal Prize, and was part of a collective exhibition organized by ARTORIUM gallery in Casablanca.Book Tickets