23 April 2024 ~ Essaouira, Morocco: Roaming Assembly#31 ~ The Seven Colors of the Universe. A collaboration between DAI , If I Can't Dance I Don't Want To Be Part of Your Revolution and LE18, Marrakech. Curated by Laila Hida and generously hosted by Dar Souiri ~ Association Essaouira Mogador.

| tag: Essaouira

There are certainly more colors to the universe, and even more ways of looking at them and of understanding them. In her tireless quest to uncover what lies behind the Lila Derdeba, ritual of possession of the Gnawa master musicians, anthropologist Viviana Pâques reflects on the connection between Western human sciences and the abstraction of African religions.

In the film that gives its name to this Roaming Assembly, filmaker Jacques Willemont interviews her on the relationship to Maalem Ayachi, her informant, with whom she entertains discontinuous, fragmented and opaque conversations, through which an interpretation of this ritual is revealed.

About two decades later, in 1988, Congolese philosopher Valentin-Yves Mudimbe’s “The Invention of Africa” revealed the mechanisms behind the concept of Africa, introducing the idea of the colonial library, a collection of ideas and representations produced by the West that define and shape perception, understanding, fascination and enduring attraction to Africa as a subject of research.

However, his notion of Gnosis that opposes Foucault’s Episteme, opens a breach to the possibility of an “authentic African” knowledge, absolute and unmediated. A model of knowledge typical of African initiation and mystical societies. It is from this concept that we would like to unfold a series of practices that address modes of learning and transmission, but preserve the right to opacity while ensuring the circulation of knowledge.

Through this invitation to artists, researchers, performers, musicians we aim to listen, move with, learn from diverse forms of transmission and languages that can or cannot be understood or apprehended. From the cryptic style of protest poetry of the Ghiwanes to the lament of the Aita singers; words, tones, and ritual spaces serve as transmitters of subtle and encoded messages of a fragmented history.

Contributors ~ The Seven Colours of the Universe

Gilles Aubry, Ghassan El Hakim, Badreddine Haoutar,  Laila Hida, Fatima-Zahra LakrissaYvon Langué, Amine Nawny/Cheika Warda and Bouchra Ouizguen (the latter together with Milouda El Maataoui, Kabboura Aït Ben Hmadand Halima Sahmoud). 

Program ~ The Seven Colours of the Universe

11:00 - 19:30  

Kaoutar Chakir, welcome from the part of Dar Souiri - Association Essaouira Mogador

Gabriëlle Schleijpen, welcome from the part of DAI Roaming Academy & If I Can't Dance I Don't Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution

Laila Hida, curatorial introduction

Bouchra Ouizguen, dancer and choreographer, interested in popular music and performance traditions, mainly using live sound and the voice, as an outlet for raw joy and sorrow. She will be accompanied by Milouda El Maataoui, Kabboura Aït Ben Hmad and Halima Sahmoud for interactive sound and movement sessions. 

13:00 - 15:00 Lunch Koozina Garden: Goat cheese and stuffed dates salad, white beans à la marocaine, moroccan cakes

Fatima-Zahra Lakrissa, curator, researcher, intervenes from her recent text “Turning Frozen Yesterdays into Fluid Now”. A theoretical exploration of the history of art in Morocco through some key milestones. 

Gilles Aubry, artist, musician, researcher will present a piece which showcases sung poetry and ecological voices from the Taghia Canyon in the Moroccan Atlas. The water spring within this canyon holds special significance, revered as a sanctuary for Nana Agouti, a Saint considered the mother of the community. Followed by  Q&A

Break of 20 minutes

Ghassan El Hakim, theatre director, researcher and Amine Nawmy, performer and journalist are both members of Kabareh Chikhates. They are currently following the trace of Moroccan Blackness through the speculative map drawn by Master Musician of Gnawa Abdellah Al Gourd, representing ancient routes of slaves from Sub-Saharan countries to the Mediterranean. 

Yvon Langué, designer, curator, writer and, Badr Haoutar known as Rétro Cassetta, artist and DJ will perform a spoken word and music dialogue inspired from the poetry of Nass El Ghiwan, influential music group in North Africa. With their protest songs, Nass El Ghiwan navigated the Years of Lead in Morocco, avoiding censorship by complexifying language. 

20:00 Dinner Koozina Garden: pastilla with fish and seafood (gluten free version and vegan options available), beetroot and cinnamon juice.




Dar Souiri ~ Association Essaouira Mogador
10 avenue du Caire
44000 Essaouira

Learn how Roaming Assembly#31 is part of the extensive study program of DAI Roaming Academy during Confluence#4 in Essaouira: 17-27 April, 2024.


Gabriëlle Schleijpen: initiator on behalf of DAI

Team If I Can't Dance: production partner

Laila Hida: guest curator on behalf of LE18

Marwa Belahbib: assistant to the curator

Kaoutar Chakir:  our host at Dar Souiri ~ Association Essaouira Mogador

Baha Görkem Yalim: video-documentation 

Aziza Harmel will join us from Tunis to write a mediation on Roaming Assembly#31.

Peter Sattler: senior co-ordinator technical production 

Jacq van der Spek: senior co-ordinator logistics & hospitality

Lauren Alexander, Hanna Rullmann: communication design 

Nikos Doulos: social media 

Myriam Taouriri: catering Koozina Garden 




LE 18 est un espace culturel créé en 2013,

situé dans la médina de Marrakech.


Journeying with DAI leads to the

accomplishment of an accredited MA

in Art Praxis | under the auspices of

ArtEZ University of the Arts | Arnhem