“Fil’Kawkaba” is a series of talks and presentations involving cultural activists, researchers, artists and curators working in, or focused on the five Maghreb countries. All talks take place at Le 18 for two months and aim at fostering a public reflection over the current condition of the Maghreb as a contested socio-cultural and political space. Fil’Kawkaba is a proposal to create a platform for exchange and confrontation over the situation of contemporary art in each country and the role this latter may play as a transformative and emancipative tool.
Initiated by LE 18 and curated by Younes Baba-Ali, KawKaw is a project encapsulating a collective exhibition resulting from an artistic residency, enriched by a series of gatherings and further translated into an evolving collaborative online platform. KawKaw reunites the five Maghreb countries with the aim to create a new space of dialogue and research through artistic practice. In a Maghrebian artistic and cultural scene undergoing great transformations, KawKaw mirrors the desire to create new bridges of reflection and to explore the opportunities and the unexploited potentials of this region.
KawKaw (i.e. peanut in darija) is a nutritious and popular food shared by all the Maghrebian cultures, a grain that gathers people around a table and entertains each one’s hands while staring at what surrounds us. KawKaw is a seed that requires breaking the shell surrounding it in order to access its grains, each of which is further sharable. This name comes therefore as a powerful, though humoristic and accessible metaphor for the process of research and discovery the program undertakes. It embodies the very act of breaking up and sharing, and it attempts to enact a principle of “sharability”, the (paradoxical) combination of the elements of union and commonality as well as those of division and specificity characterising this region as well as the grain that inspires this project.
The project KawKaw finally embodies the philosophy of its initiating space, LE 18, a young, independent initiative whose influence on its surrounding territory is discrete, though persistent.