Flateurville : A Quietly Gallic Revolution

Flateurville : A Quietly Gallic Revolution

The artist’s studio overlooking the swell of the Atlantic ocean one mile north of Bab Doukalla, Essaouira, is just one part of an idiosyncratic and quietly eccentric art installation which stretches across the world. The installation has been gradually developed and nurtured over the last 15 years and, although now international, its central heartland resolutely remains in France, its other locations co-connected for long periods by the modernity of video and internet.

The installation is quite unique; it is an imaginary and borderless city.

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Art in the Streets of Essaouira

Art in the Streets of Essaouira

These are photographs taken on my perambulations around Essaouira in between projects I had set myself. This was the end of my trip and I was feeling quite jaded, so there are not as many images as I would have liked. The colours of Essaouira are quite beautiful so I am sure I will return and enjoy myself further.  I briefly explain where in the city these were taken and any other brief relevant information.

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Historic Catastrophe : the Agony of Essaouira

Historic Catastrophe : the Agony of Essaouira

Much of the available online literature provides a positive description of Jewish/Arabic settlement in Morocco,  suggesting a substantial legacy of intra-racial tolerance,  accord and cultural harmony.  Indeed,  Morocco seems to be advertising this positive relationship in its marketing and promotional campaigns to attract tourists from Arab, Christian and Jewish diasporas.  The specific qualities that a Jewish workforce brought to Morocco ( including banking,  usery,  jewel-making and contacts with the West ) were considered invaluable to Morocco’s economic expansion and world trade by former sultans.

But is this portrayal true?  What really was the relationship between the originally settled Jewish communities across the Mahgreb and Arab invaders?   What agreements and covenants were agreed and signed to facilitate peace and ordered co-habitiation?   What socio/economic/political factors influenced that relationship and the lifestyle of Jews under Arab rule?  Does a better understanding of the experiences of Jews living in Arab controlled countries and under Arab dominion for almost a thousand years contribute to a broader understanding of the Arabic-Jewish debate?

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