The Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden (MACAAL) Marrakech is an independent, not-for-profit contemporary art museum. One of the first of its kind on the continent, MACAAL is dedicated to the promotion of African art through its diverse exhibition and education programmes, cultivating the interest of a wide audience base. The museum nurtures an understanding of contemporary art from Africa through collecting and exhibiting established and emerging artists, highlighting the creative energy and cultural diversity found across the continent.
With a soft opening in 2016, MACAAL collaborated closely with the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 22) on the first exhibition. The museum had its international launch in February 2018.
MACAAL showcases art from Morocco and the rest of the continent in a wide range of media. While maintaining respect for local audiences and cultural sensitivities, there are no restrictions on what can be shown at the museum. In addition to the permanent collection, exhibitions will focus on art which engages in a dialogue with the continent, including African and international artists.
His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, has a long history of nurturing the modern and contemporary Moroccan art scene by supporting African artists through developing initiatives and art events across the country such as The Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMVI) opened in 2014 in Rabat and is the first Moroccan public museum. MMVI and MACAAL add to Morocco’s positioning as a dynamic hub for the visual arts.
MACAAL is a philanthropic initiative by Moroccan art collectors Alami Lazraq and his son Othman Lazraq. It forms part of Fondation Alliances, a not-for-profit association which focuses on supporting cultural development in Morocco. Motivated by a passion for the arts and under the directorship of Othman, MACAAL brings the Lazraq family’s private collection of modern and contemporary African art, amassed over the past 40 years, to a wider audience.
Created in 2009, Fondation Alliances is a non-profit association backed by Alliances Group, a leading integrated real estate group in Morocco, whose vocation is to provide support in Morocco through concrete social and cultural action. The Foundation advocates for the idea of art accessible to all, by developing significant cultural mediation in favour of all social backgrounds, thus acting to create awareness of contemporary Moroccan and African art through a rigorous approach.
Beyond MACAAL, Fondation Alliances has set up five other not-for-profit initiatives:
– The Al Maaden Sculpture Park: inaugurated in September 2013, Al Maaden Sculpture Park incorporates monumental sculptures by Moroccan and international artists, exclusively created for Al Maaden’s site in Marrakech.
– The Lcc Program (formally La Chambre Claire), launched in 2013, is an annual award supporting contemporary photography through the promotion and exhibition of an emerging artist.
– Programme Passerelles (trans. bridges) encourages engagement with local young people through workshops and classes on contemporary art alongside museum visits. The programme acts as a bridge between local audiences and the wider cultural sphere.
– The MACAAL Residence: a programme of residency, research and production, inaugurated in 2019.
– MACAAL Bootcamp is an intensive four-day program which supports young art world professionals through mentorship with leaders in their field such as Koyo Kouoh and Touria El Glaoui as well as through a series of workshops and masterclasses on core skills.