Friday, November 8, 2013

Casablanca Abandoned Slaughterhouse Now Home to Artist Collective

Here is an article from the site BrownBook on an arts collective that is doing innovative things with an abandoned slaughterhouse in a working class neighborhood of Casa.


The Slaughterhouse
photo by Abdessamad  Azil 
by Natalie Shooter

An abandoned slaughterhouse may be an unlikely venue for an arts collective, but in Casablanca it’s become a second home for the city’s alternative scene

Sitting on a tram approaching ‘Les Anciens Abattoirs’, situated on the edge of east Casablanca, a glimpse of the huge stretch of crumbling buildings comes into view, flickering in and out of eyesight behind sprawling bushes and high walls. The former government-owned slaughterhouse looks no different from any of the other abandoned warehouses in the predominantly working class neighbourhood of Hay Mohammadi – until you enter through its unassuming opening, lined with graffiti-laden walls on either side.

Still referred to as The Slaughterhouse, the vast space has now found a new identity for itself, playing host to a collective of Moroccan cultural associations and artists known as La Fabrique Culturelle (The Cultural Factory). On any given day, visitors to The Slaughterhouse can witness anything from contemporary dance on the rooftop to art exhibitions, circus performances or radio broadcasts unfolding between the maze of buildings, streets and courtyards spread over five-and-a-half hectares. The building is both a meeting place and a breathing space for the city’s creative community, and is home to groups as varied as Casamémoire, a foundation devoted to preserving 20th century heritage, and the choreography company 2K Far.

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