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Morocco’s last storytellers | Qantara.de

Protecting Morocco’s storyteller heritage:

qantara.deThe art of storytelling has always been part of Arab culture. Yet it is a tradition with an uncertain future. Filmmaker Thomas Ladenburger’s exploration of the world of Moroccan storytellers provides a fascinating insight into the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. By Melanie Christina Mohr

Ever since he was ten years old, Abderrahim El Makkouri has spent much of his time on Djemaa el Fna square, the pulsating, vibrant centre of magical downtown Marrakesh. He tells his stories to the halqa – the listeners who gather round to hear tales passed down by generations of storytellers, stories that bring together and perpetuate the traditions and the magic of Morocco.

In May 2001, UNESCO honoured this cultural tradition and helped consolidate its preservation when it proclaimed the creative activity on Djemaa el Fna as a “masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity”. The lack of institutional structures, however, means that such traditional art forms in Morocco, as in many other countries, are in a rather precarious situation…[FULL STORY]

 

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