Morocco and the Netherlands
Morocco forms a bridge between Africa and Europe, both through its geographic location and its cultural blend. The Netherlands enjoys important historical, cultural and economic ties with Morocco and pursues an international policy that fosters cultural cooperation, mutual understanding and dialogue. What is more, thanks to the Moroccan diaspora in the Netherlands there are many ties between the two countries. Mutual curiosity, connections and contacts are contributing to a growing enthusiasm for cultural collaboration.
Morocco’s cultural scene is a mix of young and old, of innovative artistic expressions and local handicrafts, found in both the urban hotspots and rural areas. This dynamic character is reinforced by a duality of traditional and contemporary cultural influences. Classical Arabic and Amazigh are the two official languages, though spoken in different dialects. French is also dominant in the big cities; Spanish remains spoken in the northern region and English is increasingly popular among young people.
The local folklore remains present in the daily life of Moroccans, especially in connection with religious holidays and ceremonies. Craftsmanship, fashion and design take a significant and vibrant place in the cultural landscape. Efforts to preserve and promote this folklore heritage have been made over the last decade, particularly through the National Museum Foundation and its different branches throughout the country (e.g. the Archaeological Museum in Rabat and the Museum of Mediterranean Cultures in Tangier).
However, whereas folklore implies repeating and preserving traditions and rites, culture is alive and evolving. The main challenge is thus to help people distinguish between folklore and culture, in order to build a solid contemporary narrative based on a viable cultural economy, providing jobs, and economic, cultural and social growth. A great example of creating a new narrative in an innovative way is Marocopedia: the first platform dedicated to the digitisation of Morocco's heritage in all its diversity. The platform is funded and supported by the Dutch embassy in Rabat. It is an attractive combination between a digital museum and visual storytelling.
Over the past seven years, King Mohammed VI initiated a series of major ambitious projects at the national level, building new museums and theatres attracting international cultural festivals. Nevertheless, despite big open-air manifestations and a will to democratise culture, most of it remains the privilege of the elite in the big cities. Likewise, the larger cultural activities in Morocco are mostly elitist and attract only a small and privileged part of society. In many regions of Morocco, culture is not institutionalised evenly in the diverse regions. Read more...
Information & advice
Would you like to receive more information regarding opportunities for cultural exchange with Morocco? Feel free to contact our Morocco advisor Myriam Sahraoui with your questions. She can inform you about the latest developments in the country, relevant contacts and cultural venues.
- Find out more about cultural exchange with Morocco 2021-2024
- COVID-19 Information for cooperation with Morocco
- Webpage of the Embassy of The Kingdom of the Netherlands in Morocco
- Follow the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Morocco on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram
Morocco at a glance
featuring 5 artists
12 months (2021)
discipline in 2021
Frequently asked questions
- Where can I find funding within the Netherlands?
In the Netherlands the means for international cultural cooperation are delegated to the national funds. The fund that works for your art form or discipline, has one or several subsidy schemes for internationalisation. To make sure the program fits your project, contact the advisors of the fund before starting the process of application. These are funds:
Creative Industries Fund NL for Design, Creative Industries, Architecture, Digital Culture
> Internationalization of the Design Sector Grant Scheme
for Visual Arts
> Subsidy for International Art Presentation to present work by living Dutch(-based) artists. For Dutch(-based) artists or internationally recognized art organizations outside the Netherlands.
> Subsidy for International Art Fair/Art Book Fair to present work by living Dutch(-based) artists. For Dutch and non-Dutch galleries, publishers and non-Dutch art fairs.
Cultural Participation Fund for communal arts, cooperation, projects with non-professionals
> The development grant within the international cooperation scheme by the Cultural Participation Fund is available for all disciplines and designated for finding partners abroad.
The Netherlands Enterprise Agency is not a national fund but also offers on behalf of various ministries and the European Union subsidies for companies in the creative industries.
Check for other funding options, such as regional and private funding the Cultural Mobility Funding Guide for the Netherlands 2021/2022.
How does cultural collaboration work with Moroccan artists and cultural organisations?
The Embassy of the Netherlands in Rabat has a network in the local Moroccan cultural sector. The Embassy can advise you on opportunities for cooperation. In addition, they can provide grants to Dutch cultural organizations that collaborate with Moroccan counterparts.
Doing your research beforehand and finding local partners is essential. You can also use the expertise of DutchCulture through the advisor Morocco who has an extensive network in the local cultural sector and in-depth knowledge of its cultural institutions, organizations and venues in Morocco.
DutchCulture also works closely together with On the Move, where you will find an elaborate mapping of funding opportunities. Check the funding opportunities for the International Mobility of Artists and Culture Professionals here.
Also, the mapping cultural website www.racines.ma gives a good overview of cultural actors in Morocco.
- What VISA do I need?
As a Dutch citizen, you do not need a visa to be able to enter Morocco. If your stay is longer than 90 days, a residence permit is required and can be issued by the Police Department of your place of residence in Morocco.
Please inform the Embassy of the Netherlands in Rabat and DutchCulture about your visit, so they can assist you when you encounter problems when applying for your resident permit in Morocco.
If you have a passport from outside the Netherlands or EU, it is wise to check the rules with your country´s representatives in the Netherlands or ask the DutchCulture Mobility Info Point.
Find out exactly what the rules are that a gallery, stage or theatre upholds, before engaging in cooperation. If you find obstacles on your way, you will have enough time to apply for permits or find other solutions.
- How can I find a residency, a venue at which to perform, an exhibition space?
Through the DutchCulture database, you can figure out which artists from the Netherlands have worked at which venues, and start your research there. Go to the search icon on the upper left corner of the website, and search by discipline, country, and city. For residencies, DutchCulture's TransArtists is a great research tool. In order to successfully build an international career, and in order to find sustainable partners in a country, it is always wise to spend more than a few days somewhere. Residencies, which can last from a couple of weeks up to several months, can help you achieve this.
- How can I promote my work in Morocco?
It is a good idea to engage local professionals and publicists, that have an understanding of your art discipline, audience, and region. Make sure to contact the embassy to let them know about your projects. Do not forget to create a My DC account, where you can add your activities to our Cultural Database. This way you will be included in our database and become part of our network.
- What to take into account if I want to invite a Moroccan artist/cultural actor to the Netherlands?
Check for all up-to-date information about VISA applications for Moroccan residents travelling to the Netherlands the website of the VSF VISA Application Center for the Netherlands in Morocco.