Media Art Workshop Series
Taleb Cherche Midi with its project " Videokaravaan " have set up as a series of workshops in Morocco ( 2002-2006 ), the project brings together young North African and European video artists, filmmakers, students and professionals from different spheres of life. Tapping into new sources, Videokaravaan works with everyone who is interested. The participants are selected on the basis of motivation, not necessarily on the basis of experience or academic background. For the workshops in Agadir (taking place in 2004 and 2006), Videokaravaan invited acclaimed artists from Spain, France, Germany and Morocco to host participatory workshops around themes such as the history of cinema and video art, screen play, technology and sound. During the two-week workshop, the 16 participants, aged 20 to 31, male and female, from different ethnic backgrounds, most of whom didn't have any training in the arts, created a number of short films and video installations. Rather than creating a one-sided teacher-student. Until now more than 10 videos and short films were produced.
"We believe group work is the only way to get attention and to get people to listen to what you have to say. The workshops are not only about learning techniques for artistic purposes. We want to stimulate the participants to pay attention towards everything happening around them."
The international exchange of experience allows the participants, most of whom never had the chance to travel abroad, to find new ways of looking at reality. But Videokaravaan is not only about the process of artistic creation. The ultimate aim of the project is to set up a network and create a multidisciplinary platform for young artists.
"If we don't invest in the follow-up, the results of the project will be lost. The participants of our workshops continue making videos, being active in the arts."
Some of them have had the opportunity to show their work in Europe, such as the 22-year old photographer who participated in the first edition of Videokaravaan. Her work, focusing on the emptiness in urban public space, shows objects and people looking lost in their surroundings. Following her participation in Videokaravaan she was invited by the French Institute to participate in photography workshops in Avignon. And she is not the only artist whose career took off after taking part in Videokaravaan; several other artists have been invited to show their work abroad.
"We have opened their eyes to lots of new possibilities, not only artistically, but also including very practical things like fundraising. Most importantly, we helped themrealise there is more to life than studying to become an engineer or a teacher. In a context where there are no jobs and a serious lack of art schools, projects like ours fill a gap. We offer an alternative."
Not only people in Morocco are surprised when they see the results of the workshops. On the other side of the Mediterranean, audiences are equally amazed when confronted with the videos from Videokaravaan.
"When we show the results of Videokaravaan at European film festivals, such as the Mediterranean Film Festival of Montpellier, The Short Ends Film Festival in London or La Caixa Art Forum in Barcelona, people are intrigued to discover something new. Most people in the West have only limited knowledge about art from North-Africa. Only after 9/11 did people open their eyes to see what is happening in the Arab world. Especially the fact that there is a vibrant scene of new media artists often comes as a surprise. We create a window to the unknown other side."
For more information:
Images: DSLR DIGITAL CINEMA WORKSHOP # 2
Images: DSLR DIGITAL CINEMA WORKSHOP # 1
Workshop series 1
Workshop series 2