Social Roots

Ayoub, Tangier, Morocco, 2021

We went back to the roots of the social experiences that give shape to Tangier’s cultural ferment and we identified a constellation of projects in the association Darna, “Our House” in Arabic, founded in 1999 by Mounira Bouzid El Alami, psychotherapist, educator and activist, mother of the artist Yto Barrada. Darna offers a training center, a restaurant, a theatre, and a farm that for years have been a refuge for mothers and children freed from violence and drugs through a form of experimental pedagogy in which art—as a tool for expressing ideas and integrating into society by sharing knowledge without censorship—is crucial.

In 2016, even before identifying itself within a physical space, Think Tanger was born out of community discussion, driven by the rapid changes taking place in the area. How is it possible to involve citizens so that they rethink the social and urban fabric in which they live by overturning the logic of vertical top-down organization imposed by the public administration? One of the most successful initiatives in this regard is the result of a long-standing collaboration between Think Tanger’s founder, Hicham Bouzid, and the Tamkeen Community Foundation for Human Development in Zouitina. Here adolescents and young adults, students and educators come together to share a common growth process in a space of co-reflection where understanding the other is a deep-rooted and transformative journey.