The Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Arts has been awarded the “Best Emerging Culture Destination Africa” Prize, by the Leading Culture Destination (LCD) Awards 2015.
The LCD Awards celebrate the vibrancy and vitality of museums around the world, which are changing fast. Today cultural destinations are not only for art experiences and education; they have become social hubs for visitors to spend time, dine, shop, work and even sleep!
MMP+, as the museum is otherwise called, opened with an exhibition of 10 Contemporary Moroccan Photographers namely Yto Barrada, Carole Benitah, Hicham Benouhoud, Ali Chraibi, Yasmine Bouziane Daoud, Hicham Gardaf, Hassan Hajjaj, Lamia Naji, Leila Sadel, and Aoulad Syad in September, 2013. This was followed in November by ‘a Portrait of Marrakech’ which saw the Magnum photographers, Abbas, Jim Goldberg, Susan Meiselas, Mark Power and Mikhael Subotsky spend two weeks living and working together, producing work curetted concurrently by Simon Njami. Fundamental to the project were local communities, including students and Moroccan photographic practitioners, which allowed for creative and cultural exchange as partners in the production.
The museum is also a laboratory for a new generation of Moroccan curators who will work with internationally acclaimed academics on a project basis. In support of this laboratory, MMP+ had launched a scholarship program to support Moroccan students and further their studies of Museum Science at major institutions around the world.
The LCD judging panel was chaired by Gail Dexter Lord of Lord Cultural Resources, one of the world’s leading consultancies for cultural capital. It includes Justine Simons OBE, Head of Culture at the Mayor of London’s office, fashion designer Neil Barrett, and ArtNet CEO Jacob Pabst. Winners are carefully selected from a long list of nominations put together by global Ambassadors, who are drawn from the community of the world’s most influential and travelled creative professionals – all of them cultural nomads, committed to supporting the arts and innovation wherever in the world they might be.
Regional awards are made for best Emerging Culture Destination Africa, Asia/Pacific, Europe, Middle East, North America, and South & Central America of which Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Arts won the African slot in a elaborate ceremony in New York this month.
MMP+ is located in Marrakesh, the 4th largest city in the northwest African nation of Morocco, founded in 1062 by Abu Bakr ibn Umar, chieftain and cousin of Almoravid king Yusuf ibn Tashfin. It is inhabited by 1.06 million people.