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.
Founded in 2009, Fondation Alliances is backed by Alliances Group, a leading integrated real estate group in Morocco. Dedicated to promoting cultural development in Morocco, the foundation established the Al Maaden sculpture park in 2013, among other projects.
Beyond MACAAL, Fondation Alliances has set up two other not-for-profit initiatives: LCC Programme (La Chambre Claire) launched in 2013, a bi-annual award supporting contemporary African photography through the promotion and exhibiting of an emerging artist; and Programme Passerelles (trans. bridges) which encourages engagement with local young people through workshops and classes on contemporary art and design, alongside museum visits. The programme acts as a bridge between local audiences and the wider cultural sphere.