The art of El Aita in debate in Safi

“The art of El Aita between the local tributary and the universal common” was the theme of a symposium organized on Saturday in Safi, as part of the 21st edition of the National Festival of El Aita hosted by the City of the Ocean until September 11 current.

Many speakers at this meeting dedicated to initiating a deep reflection on this secular art which constitutes one of the important components of the national cultural and artistic heritage, were unanimous in underlining the need to register and document El Aita, while ensuring encourage research and studies on this musical and artistic genre.

In addition, they highlighted one of the essential components of Moroccan oral culture, while paying tribute to the figureheads of this musical style, who have dedicated their lives to the preservation and dissemination of this authentic heritage.

Speaking on this occasion, the Representative of the Regional Directorate of Culture of Marrakech-Safi, Samir Ouanassi, highlighted the commitment of the supervising ministry to support the National Festival of El Aita, indicating that this Colloquium offers a appropriate opportunity to deal with all questions relating to this artistic genre, in particular those likely to consolidate and lay the foundations for solid collaboration and complementarity, in favor of the promotion of culture in general.

Similarly, he dwelt on the enthusiasm and all the passion that the public devotes to this musical genre, with a focus on the efforts made by several parties to preserve this intangible heritage and its enhancement for future generations.

For his part, the teacher at the Polydisciplinary Faculty of Safi, Said Lakbi, stressed the need to pay great attention to the issue of heritage preservation, warning about attempts to extort from certain components of the national heritage.

The author of the novel “Gnaoua”, has, in this sense, underlined that this festival continues to gain in fame thanks to the geographical extent of the public passionate about the art of El Aita, to the themes addressed by this art, and which tackle everyday concerns, as well as academic research which has largely contributed to promoting this artistic genre.

After pointing out that the history of Morocco is characterized by the dominance of orality, he stressed the need to document tangible and intangible heritage.

In this sense, he pleaded in favor of the creation of a permanent structure in charge of the Festival, in addition to the establishment of fruitful partnerships with many speakers and partners likely to bring a sure added value to this annual meeting and to draw up the quality of the activities and programs concocted for the benefit of the public.

Placed under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, this edition is organized by the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication, in partnership with the province of Safi.

This event is part of the cultural meetings set up by the Ministry for the enhancement of the national civilizational heritage and the preservation of the collective artistic memory, while paying a vibrant tribute to the icons of this singular art who have devoted their lives to the promotion and preservation of El Aita.

This edition has been designed to highlight the various rhythms and sounds of the art of El Aïta as an expression of identity with multiple tributaries, which draws its reference and authenticity from the local Moroccan heritage.


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