Madrassa 2017 : Call for participation


MADRASSA is a programme conceived by l’Atelier de l’Observatoire, implemented with Spring Sessions in partnership with Mass Alexandria and aria (artist residency in algiers).

  • Deadline to apply : 5 May 2017
  • Selection of participants : 30 May 2017
  • Locations : Alexandria, Algiers, Algiers, Amman, Casablanca
  • For information :

Madrassa is a programme of curatorial research and practice in contemporary art. It is one of the first of its kind in the region.

The programme strives to educate and connect a community of young arts professionals through training and networking opportunities. Madrassa supports innovative, independent curatorial practices that look beyond the dominant dynamics and modes of production, and seek to render art more accessible to all. It explores socially engaged visual arts practices, promotes collaborative projects and rich transnational exchange, and offers a platform for experimentation to the region’s emerging curatorial talents.

The first edition of the programme was launched in 2015 by l’Atelier de l’Observatoire (Art and Research) in Casablanca. The second edition of the programme will accept eight participants and is comprised of two components.

The first is a training session in Casablanca (25 - 29 September 2017). It will include meetings, site visits, presentations and case studies led by regional and international curators and speakers. The second component is a ten-day curatorial residency in one of Madrassa’s partner institutions in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan or Morocco.

The training and residencies are specifically dedicated to alternative historiographical approaches that are being developed in North Africa and the Middle East through curatorial practices. In the specific context of the region, we will think and reflect about the essential role of contemporary exhibitions and curatorial essays and projects, in the important writing of narratives and histories of art and culture.



●Madrassa targets professionals (or students about to finish their studies) who wish to train or specialize, and who fill at least two of the following criteria:

  • Experience in a structure such as a museum, an arts center, a gallery, a festival, a biennale, an artists’ residency, an arts or culture magazine, archives, etc.
  • Studies in cultural management or arts
  • A strong interest in curatorial practices and art history


● All participants must be:

  • Active in North Africa and/or the Middle-East
  • Available for five days of training and for the ten-day curatorial residency
  • 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 in regards to nationality

● Accommodation and half-board during the training and the residency are covered by the programme

● For the curatorial residency, international transportation is covered by the programme (round trip, with a possibility of leaving from the training location)

● For the training in Casablanca, international and domestic transportation must be ensured by the participants (or their institutions). They can apply to financial partners, including (but not limited to) foreign embassies, Art Moves Africa, Prince Claus Mobility, Roberto Cimetta Fund, European Cultural Fund, Mawred, Afrikayna, etc.

● The programme can help the participants in their application and can offer mobility funds in exceptional cases for participants requiring financial support.



Applications are to be sent in English to before the 5th of May 2017 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). Please specify if you need to apply for a mobility fund for the training in Casablanca.

● A project proposal related to the curatorial residency in the country of your choice (1 page max). Please make sure to specify your motivations and the main ideas of the project. You may propose the following projects to which a small production fee will be attributed: meetings and interviews with the local arts scene (artists, curators, spaces, etc.); research in the framework of a curatorial project involving libraries and archives; writing of curatorial texts; organizing a public curatorial event (meeting, workshop, round table, exhibition, screening, radio intervention, etc.). Projects should be in relation to the main topics of this year’s Madrassa, which are alternative historiographical approaches developed throughout North Africa and the Middle East.

● Your projects will be discussed during the training in Casablanca

● You may add any other documents you see fit (art or writing portfolio, etc.)


Please check the file attached for more information or click here to download the full document to download | More about MADRASSA program |  Contact :