Atla(s)now project of Art and Ski in Morocco

Project location: MOROCCO, Imlil and Oukameiden on the higher Atlas Mountains
Project start date: January 2013 - Project end date: January 2014
Project number: 2012-100
Beneficiary: Associazione culturale Atla(s)now


Developed on the Higher Morroccan Atlas Mountains, the Atla(s) now project incorporates an artist residency and strives to create a community platform where art and skiing are used as a means of economic and social development. In fact, the art residency program coexists with several other activities all aimed at supporting and integrating with the local community. It is this integration between art and other disciplines that give birth to a real Relational Art project. Human beings quickly lose the capacity to understand diversity if they become unused to seeing it (John Stuart Mill).

Angelo Bellobono, the project leader, is a self-taught artist and professional ski instructor and coach. Bellobono's works have been exhibited extensively in Europe, USA, Asia, and Africa, including the Marrakech Biennal; the Macro Museum in Rome; the Museum of Modern Art of New Delhi and Cairo City; the XV Quadriennale of Rome, the Volume foudation and many private galleries.

Conceived by Angelo Bellobono, an artist and ski instructor, in collaboration with Aniko Boehler (producer) and Alessandro Facente (art curator), the Atla(s)now project activates key concepts such as the relationship between art and sport, whilst encouraging the use of local resources and labor for the artistic and cultural production through site specific projects developed by artists in residence. All the project activities are thought to support and integrate the local community.
Atla(s)now has already been presented at Digital Marrakech in a masterclasses and an exhibition at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts visuels de Marrakech (Esav).
The project has been also included in the students planning of the school and has been presented as the Official parallel program in the Marrakech Biennal and provided of free residential centre for the artists involved in the residency program.
Atla(s)now has collected about 50 pairs of skis and boots and clothing of the latest generation, which will be use for the Ski rentals managed by local people trained by our program.
During the last winter 2012, the association did one week of art workshop with the Kid's in Imlil, and 5 days ski selection and course to define the program for the ski guides course for the winter 2013. On March 28th the first two location of the Spread out museum opened with a big Berber party day.

Atla(s)now consists of an artists-in-residence program, the first Atlas valley Spread out museum, art workshops and training activities for ski club and local instructors, organized to empower their knowledge and reinforce the local microeconomy in an eco-sustainable way and motivated by the principles of microeconomics. Bellobono and his team with the support of students from the ESAV/Ecole supérieure des arts visuels de Marrakech are actively engaging the participation of the local community.
The aims is to estabilish the project and uses a partecipatory development approach, that includes beneficiaries as active partners of the development process of the local offers through:

- creation of an artist's residency and realization of the spread out Atlas Valley Museum (the first residency program has been done during the last winter, next will start on december 2012 and will run for one month or two. Next artist will be Andrea Nacciarriti);
- training and updating of the local ski instructors and expand a local ski club (three weeks between Juanuary and April 2013, depending also on the amount of snow);
- creation of a ski rent with the equipment donated by Italian ski rent (from december 2012 to april 2013, integrated by a manteinance equipment course,to be repeated on the 2014);
- activation of a local micro-economy (through the use of local resources for artistic and cultural production);
- ensuring the continuity of the project over years;
- enhancement of the professionalism and talent of locals.

The artists in residence are invited to prepare a site-specific project. Each project will be built along with the Atla(s)now curatorial team and with the local community, and the artist will use only local material and labor to carry out the work to encourage the principles of microeconomics.
During the winter 2013 the artist Andrea Nacciarriti will spend one month in Imlil with the writer-critic Alessandro Facente and the students from the School of cinema and art of Marrakech, to create the new work for the Atla(s)now museum and activate the new workshops with the population. Angelo Bellobono will continue the activity of the last winter, new art workshop with kids, ski guide course, and implementation of the ski rental.
Aniko Boehler will coordinate the activity with the local associations, students and istitution.

This project received a grant from the Nando Peretti Foundation. The territory, through the widespread presence of the Museum and the growing of the professional skills of the instructors, will result in an increase in turistic opportunities, through parameters of great ethical and ecological value and wider cultural significance.

In 2014, the project received another grant covering until May 2016.


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