ACP is part of a multidisciplinary, activist team volunteering to design a Music School for the NGO Joudour Sahara in the oasis of M’hamid El Ghizlane in southern Morocco. The team comprises the local NGO Taragalte, Sahara Roots, Playing for Change foundation and the Block Team Group at ETH.
Joudour Sahara is a music school for children and youth. Its main objectives are to transmit and preserve traditional music heritage, offer training in music related disciplines (recording, video editing etc..) to local youth, and spread environmental awareness. A key stop along the salt and gold caravan routes, M’hamid is known as the “Gateway to the Sahara” and has a rich cultural heritage, equally influenced by Arabic, Berber and Sub-saharan traditions. It is currently being threatened by migration of the population to urban centers, the disappearance of nomadic lifestyle, encroaching sand dunes, and lack of access to water. Indeed, in the 70s, a hydroelectric dam was built near Ouarzazate, which cut much of the supply to M’hamid, the last oasis south of the Drâa Valley.
The 2,000 local youth, a subset of overall population of approximately 7,500 inhabitants, crave a creative outlet but lack access to music instruments, education, and encouragement.
Joudour Sahara will focus on empowering youth with music education programming in a safe and welcoming space. In addition to classroom instruction, we will offer a visiting artist exchange, indoor and outdoor performance spaces for local and travelling acts, an on-site workshop for musical instrument creation and repair, and accommodations to tourists who are interested in supporting the school while on holiday.