Sunday Visit: In Tangier With Hicham Bouzid

Every Sunday, Botanical Colors sits down for an interview with a luminary in the natural dye and textile world.
Grab a cup of tea and settle in to learning about someone you never knew! Catch up on all our Sunday Visits here.

Hicham Bouzid is a creative director, editor, and curator based in Tangier, Morocco. With over 13 years of experience collaborating with cultural institutions and foundations worldwide, his work delves into the intricate interplay of Morocco’s urban and social landscapes influenced by neoliberal policies over the past quarter-century.

In 2016, Hicham co-founded Think Tanger, an innovative cultural organization working at the intersection of contemporary art, design, participatory research, and urban fields. Under the umbrella of Think Tanger, he manages three spaces: Tanger Print Club (a printing studio), an art residency, and the Kiosk a new art venue recently inaugurated in his hometown. Alongside these endeavors, he has also started Makan, a yearly journal focusing on culture and space.

His expertise has led him to serve as a jury member for esteemed organizations such as the Arab Funds for Arts and Culture in Beirut and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He has actively participated in fairs and seminars with renowned international institutions including Tamayo Museo in Mexico City, Mucem in Marseille, Les Ateliers Luma in Arles, Paris International in Paris, and Focal Point of Sharjah Art Foundation in Sharjah.
He is currently serving as a mentor for the Building Beyond program of The Prince Claus Fund Netherlands and Stimerings funds and sitting on the boards of Le18 art space in Marrakech of “The Mothership,” an artist project led by Yto Barrada.

As part of the Experience The Colors of Tangier at The Mothership With Yto Barrada & Cara Piazza workshop August 1-11, you’ll be able to participate in a risograph workshop at Hicham’s studio!

We caught up with Hicham to ask a few questions.

Tell us about Think Tanger and how it’s become such an important part of the Tangier arts + cultural scene.

Think Tanger is a multi-disciplinary non-profit cultural agency founded in 2016, that aims to promote culture, creativity, innovation and knowledge exchange within Tangier, Morocco. The organization brings together artists, researchers, entrepreneurs and local communities to explore new ideas and facilitate dialogue on urban development and cultural policies.
Over the past 8 years, our programs have directly addressed concerns related to the social and urban life of rapidly expanding cities like Tangier. Therefore, we have felt the urge to connect different communities and create spaces that allow interactions between different components. Working closely with diverse communities has led Think Tanger to become an important platform for art and culture in the city and the country.
Think Tanger runs 3 spaces: Tanger Print Club (a printing studio), an art residency, and the Kiosk, a new art venue recently inaugurated. Alongside these endeavors, We also publish Makan, a yearly journal focusing on culture and space.

With the influx of people moving there from other places, why is art and discussion important?

The city of Tangier has undergone significant urban transformations in recent decades, marked by substantial economic, tourism, and urban development projects that have reconfigured its physical and social landscapes. The rapid shift of the urban environment has a massive impact on individuals and communities.

We have been investigating these impacts on local communities by focusing on the role of art and culture in fostering new ways of experiencing the city, as we believe that positive change can occur through alternative education, creative entrepreneurship, artistic production, and social innovation.

Can art save a place?

I could have said yes in other circumstances, but with an ongoing genocide hapenning in Gaza, everything is becoming so confusing.

What’s a color you’re most drawn to right now and why?

A very special shade of soft blue blending into lavender. The color of Iris Tingitana, a flower native to Tangier that one can widely harvest as it grows everywhere between February and April. The legend says that it is the original Iris, the mother of all, that gave birth to all Irises. I don’t really want to fact-check; but I just love the idea that Tangier gifted that beautiful flower to the world.

Meet Hicham and explore his world on our Experience The Colors of Tangier at The Mothership With Yto Barrada & Cara Piazza here.

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