Ines TANOVIC SIJERCIC
During my first secondment in Association Racines in Casablanca, I focused my research on several issues related to topic of public space. All through the analysis, research and groundwork, I was interested to know the general meaning of public space in Moroccan society; the political, social, economic, religious, gender and cultural implications related to public space; and the habits, customs and usage of public space by its citizens, with focus on artists, youngsters and various social groups and movements.
Considering that public space is, amongst other things, a place of transformation, a potential arena for community revitalisation and participatory local democracy and space of emergence of new narratives, I was curious to study more on the role of culture and arts in place-making on community level, by searching into peculiar examples of Casablanca’s neighbourhoods of Sidi Moumen and Aïn Sebaâ. Both communities make admirable and exceptional example of community work in public space and show the immense potential of culture and arts for renewal, innovation, diversity and development. The opening of cultural centre L’uzine in industrial district of Aïn Sebaâ or Les Etoiles / The Stars of Sidi Moumen Cultural Centre on city’s periphery, represent a unique shift in bottom-up approach to communities’ social, economic and cultural needs.