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Ilyes Griyeb - At the swimming pool, Meknès, Moro
Photography Ilyes Griyeb

Artists have launched a print sale for Moroccan earthquake aid

Artists For Morocco are a collective raising money for critical on-the-ground-assistance, including work from Hassan Hajjaj, Meriem Bennani and Ilyes Griyeb

On Friday September 8, Morocco experienced its worst earthquake in 60 years. As the country grieves the harrowing loss of over 2,000 lives, the World Health Organisation estimates that the earthquake has already impacted over 300,000 people – and the number is likely to continue to climb. The epicentre of the earthquake is located deep in the Atlas Mountains, with remote Amazigh villages have been reduced to rubble, and countless people still stuck, missing or unaccounted for.

“[I remember waking] up and seeing entire villages flattened to rubble,” says Samira Larouci, a founder of new collective Artists For Morocco. “Villages that looked identical to the ones my parents grew up in and many more of my family still live in. The destruction and death were unfathomable. Seeing the old medina in Marrakesh, a vital lifeline for so many people and home to so many craftspeople, destroyed – it broke my heart. Although my family were, thankfully, all safe, one of my former teachers lost 11 of his relatives in one night.”

She continues: “Living in London, I felt useless. Speaking every few minutes with people I knew and loved in Morocco and in the diaspora, all grieving and feeling hopeless and desperate to be able to help, or at least be a guiding light and be able to inform others how to best help, I figured that waiting around wasn’t going to get us anywhere, and it certainly wasn't going to help anyone.”

After connecting with Anass Ouaziz, a photographer from a small town called Beni-Mellal in Morocco, and a Marrakesh-based designer and photographer, Ismail Elaaddioui, they joined forces to found Artists For Morocco, which is comprised of 25 established and emerging Moroccan photographers and artists. The collective has just launched a print sale, with all proceeds set to be donated to the Amal Centre and The Rifs Foundation, which are working to bring aid and support to victims and those affected in remote villages. 

“They mentioned they needed help in pushing their personal prints, so I said let’s make this much bigger,” Larouci says. “Let’s make a collective, comprised of every Moroccan photographer we know. If everyone sells a piece of their work, we could raise a lot of money and give that directly to trusted local NGOs on the ground. So that’s what we did. Moroccan artists donating their work for Morocco’s relief.”

Hassan Hajjaj, Meriem Bennani, Ilyes Griyeb, Hanane El Ouardani, Mounir Raji, Tabit Rida, Ismail Zaidy and Jinane Ennasri are among the captivating artists who have contributed work to the sale. Each 12 16 print is unframed and printed on matte C-type with a pearl finish.

“In turn, the world and industry get introduced to fantastic Moroccan artists they may not have heard about,” says Larouci, “which I hope will create a self-sustaining ecosystem for young creatives in Morocco and encourage us all to utilise the privileges and platforms we have to channel money where it's needed most.”

Take a look through the gallery above for a closer look at some of the prints available from Artist For Morocco. 

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