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The Palmgrove is Yet Alive

«Nothing is more striking than the spectacle
which offers itself to the sight when, arriving from
Casablanca, one suddenly sees, a few kilometres
before reaching Marrakech, in the middle of a
great plain of desertic aspect barred to the south
by the blue and white line of the snow-covered
Atlas, the untouched, abundant, fresh, and
restfulgreen of an immense oasis, in which the
old Berber city is almost hidden.
And after this long road of two hundred
kilometres through the bare plains, it is an
unexpected pleasure to approach the city by the
long crossing of a green palm grove...»
(J.-C. N. Forestier, 1913)

Part of this year’s research-based edition of Ch[a]rita / السِّيس, The Palmgrove is Yet Alive
is a punctual programme of artistic interventions, workshops, conversations and screenings that adopts the palmgrove as space of intervention and subject of reflection.
Imagined as a collective, political and poetic gesture, The Palmgrove is Yet Alive proposes to temporarily re-inhabit the palmgrove as a gathering and communing space, a site for remembering and reimagining tales, songs, and cultures while recalling the ecologies that once thrived from palmate leaves and underground water channels.

Over the course of two week-ends (and more), we invite you to play with us in re-imagining the khettaras full of lively waters, in giving form to fantastical stories and to reflect on pools appearing in the desert like mushrooms after a day of rain in the forest. We invite you to be carried away by winds of fog circulating across coastlines and islands, in getting our hands full of seeds from our shared granaries, and to chant of lands liberated from mono-cultural ventures.
While building bridges along oasian and water-extraction’s lines across Morocco, North Africa and the Arab world, let’s reclaim lost paradises, questioning and taking shared responsibility for the palmgrove’s destiny. Let’s dare to dream not only of apocalyptic futures, but of bright and fruitful ones.
Oases are still alive as long as their trees are rising high in the sky, as long as their inhabitants keep cultivating and inhabiting the land. And even in the case of villages without a source, as long as underground waters keep being shared in generous, ingenious and communal ways, the hearts of palm cells can keep beating.

Let us chant and be enchanted by a palmgrove that is yet alive.


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