Madrassa is a curatorial collective composed by eight members, based primarily in Africa and the Middle East, each coming from different backgrounds (art history, curatorial studies, political economy, architecture and cinema) and combining multiple practices (research, curating and cultural management).
Envisioning exhibition making as a research and critical endeavor, Madrassa Collective aims at experimenting and investigating collective practices and transborder collaborations as a means to resist and confront the difficulties of art making in the regions the collective comes from.
Through its projects, the collective tests different curatorial methodologies (collective exhibition proposals, performative and participative projects, publications, researches and mapping exercises), exploring various topics and geographies, in an attempt to:
- question dominant narratives permeating modern and contemporary art thinking and writing, by shedding light and reactivating alternative or invisible histories, collective
- memories, heritages and “peripheral” epistemic systems;
- explore negotiating processes of cultural appropriation, transformation, translation and identity formation;
- investigate socially engaged art and curatorial practices in Africa and the Middle East, as well as the conditions for the emergence and the impact of collective and independent artistic projects;
- undertake a critical reflection over institution building and its normative configurations, as testing itself as an institutionalised, alternative and self-directed curatorial body.
Members of Madrassa are Nadine Atallah, Nouha Ben Yebdri, Victoria Dabdoub, Francesca Masoero, Aude Christel Mgba, Rim Mejdi, Léa Morin and Marc Mouarkech.
Nadine Atallah - Egypt/France
Art historian. Her research focuses on the exhibitions of women artists from Egypt during Nasser’s time. She collaborated with various art institutions and galleries in Europe and Lebanon.
Nouha Ben Yedri - Morocco
Founding director of Mahal Art space in Tangier. She has actively collaborated as cultural practitionner with various institutions such as Trankat Art Residency (Teetouan) and Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, CA2M (Madrid).
Victoria Dabdoub - Palestine/Jordan
Architect and cultural practitioner. She is a founding member of el-Atlal residency in Jericho (Palestine) and work for Spring Session (Amman).
Francesca Masoero - Morocco/Belgium/Italy
Political economic theorist, project manager and curator. She collaborates with various cultural projects in Brussels and in the North African region. She is part of the team of Le 18, art space in Marrakech.
Rim Mejdi - Morocco
Filmmaker and curator. She is particularly interested in exploring hybrid narrative formats lying in-between the cinema narrative and contemporary art.
Aude Christel Mgba - Cameroon
Art historian. Her project, Rencontre, is a platform for exchanges between professional artists, researchers and students in Cameroon.
Léa Morin - Morocco/France
Co-founding director of Atelier de l’Observatoire - Art and Research (Casablanca, Morocco), and independent researcher. She is the former director of the Cinémathèque de Tanger.
Marc Mouarkech - Lebanon
Director of Arab Image Foundation (Beirut). He is the former director of the Beirut gallery Galerie Tanit.