top of page


Screen Shot 2019-09-28 at 9.34.10.png

Moroccan common


.Artsi Mous, Moroccan Souvenirs, 2019

ziara زيارة

curated by Amit hai Cohen


12 october - 28 November

Jerusalem 2019


Ziara, curated by Amit hai Cohen, was the flagship exhibition of the Jerusalem Biennale 2019,  presented the work of leading contemporary moroccan artists from all around the world in order to Bind together common Moroccan wisdom. ziara Took place at the historical building of the YMCA Jerusalem, a place that promotes good relations between Jerusalem’s religions and communities.

Anchor 2

Hicham Benohoud,

La tronçonneuse | 2018


Participating artists :

Moran Ifergan video / Amina Azreg fashion   / Izza Genini Cinema /  Artsi Mous fashion and photography   Mohammed El Mourid  installation art / Mohamed Mourabiti painting / Chama Mechtaly photography  / Hicham Benohoud photography, video installation  / Ines Abergel Sculpture / lazar Makhluf al Mahdi you tube video / Shlomi Elkabetz video / l4artiste (ismail zaidy) photography  Jack Jano  Sculpture /  Aniam leah Dery  Sculpture / Marcelle Tehila  Biton installation  / Mohamed El baz photography /David Guedj Archives and Research /  fatima zohra serri‏ photography / Mohamed Arejdal‏ video / Vinyl collection (collectors: gilad Vaknin,  Khen Elmaleh, Uri Wertheim, Chris Silver) installation

Ecole biblique collection / the palestinian archive / the national library  / The national Post



Mohamed Mourabiti

Instagram Collection (Full Size)

Fatima Zohra Serri

Talisman collection

Amina Azreg



Hassan AL Thani

The National Post

Photocall mogador

Shlomi Elkabetz

Que Sera Sera

Moran Ifergan

In memoriam Edmond Amran El Male

Mohammed Elmourid

The Wall and the Palm

Aniam leah Dery

Photo Kh. Raad

Collection Ecole biblique

Torah Lessons in YouTube

lazar Makhluf al Mahdi

Le passé illustré, 2019

David Guedj


Mohamed El baz

Izza Genini

Moroccan Souvenirs, 2019

Artsi Mous

La tronçonneuse, 2018

Hicham Benohoud

Instagram Collection

Fatima Zohra Serri


l4artiste ( ismail zaidy)

We came to our land

Jack Jano

The King in Jerusalem

The Palestinian Archive

Tamazgha GPS, 2019

Chama Mechtaly


Marcelle Tehila Biton

Moroccan Souvenirs, 2019

Artsi Mous

Hand Series I

Chama Mechtaly

Vinyl collectors

Catalogue text

          by Amit Hai Cohen

I went looking for history in the village of Tizgui, a place not found on any map of Morocco. My great-grandfather, Shalom Amar, came to live in Tizgui at some point in the early 1900s. His house, erected over the foundations of an old Berber building, was the only one in the village built from cement. As a portent, new over old, supported by its foundations and rising to further heights, a patch, creating a new esthetic. A stream flows only a few steps from the front door, within a vast setting of nature. Only ten meters from the house, a mosque. God is great.   

It all began with barren earth or arid desert. Even in Netivot where I grew up, the horizon featured nothing but sky. But this emptiness, to which the romantics flock for its magic, is interminably boring for those who live within it. It is the soil from which you cultivate fantasies, the reason you want to flee to the city. You can have the desert with all the authenticity you love; give me asphalt and a balcony that overlooks a row of cafes. I'll come visit.

And somehow, between Morocco and Netivot, we remained untraumatized by the Diaspora. Ask any old woman and she will surely tell you how large the dates were there. Go to the Egyptians, the Iraqis and the Poles – their hearts are wounded. Memory prevails over history; over the distance of time it is easy to forget the Muwahhidun and dhimmi laws. If for others Jews, it was the Diaspora that was traumatic, for Moroccan Jews, the arrival in the land of their dreams was the trauma. Apart from vague memories, the ordeal left us without historical continuity, without the consciousness uniting 2,500 years of existence that extends a line between a Berber from Tahanaoute and a single mother in Dimona, between 18th century piyyutim and a YouTube clip of a hipster teaching Torah in Moroccan Arabic. Our imagination is devoid of a uniform world, a tradition of images. The visuality of the Diaspora is there, and we are here.

Several generations have passed, and Jerusalem has become an exile, an ordinary city, and it is to Morocco that Jews flock to seek holiness. In a parallel universe, Muslim Moroccans reformulate their yearning for the Jews: in research, in culture, and in language. Moroccan intellectuals call to restore Jewish buildings, fashion designers are inspired by traditional Jewish-Moroccan garb, and artists tattoo canvases with tallitot found in the Marrakesh markets. In the world of Instagram, where the politicos and conservatives have no power, you can suddenly see the link between Haim Botbol's electric guitar and Issam’s hip-hop; between Ismail Zaidy’s photographs of Marrakesh rooftops and the goodness of our grandmothers who hung never-ending laundry from the steaming balconies of Netivot. In this world, Moroccans everywhere are creating a profound visual language that is evolving into a common wisdom.



Ziara presents a surprisingly updated selection of Moroccan art, as it challenges preconceived notions regarding what it has to offer. Scrupulously looking back over the last decade, this exhibition exposes the vibrancy of the Moghrabi traditions.  This exhibition confronts some conservative powers that keep Moroccan art stagnated and suppress any attempt towards renewal.


Blurring conventional boundaries, this exhibition displays a typical Moroccan approach that opposes unneeded dichotic categorization, clouding the differences between entertainment and culture, art and craft, rabbinical writing and Youtube channels and Jewish and Muslim culture.


Ziara exhibits a broad updated picture of contemporary Moroccan art and creativity, through a rich and varied shared Moroccan wisdom.


Screen Shot 2019-10-21 at 17.36.14.png
Screen Shot 2019-10-21 at 17.35.42.png
Screen Shot 2019-10-21 at 17.39.10.png
Screen Shot 2019-10-21 at 17.43.00.png
Screen Shot 2019-10-28 at 10.22.24.png
Screen Shot 2019-11-08 at 17.34.36.png

Radio Interviews (Hebrew) :

exhibition׳s Photos

About the Jerusalem International YMCA


The Jerusalem International YMCA is a cultural, sports and educational center located in the heart of the city and is affiliated with the Young Men’s Christian Association worldwide. The Y strives to foster equality and friendship among members of all religions, with an emphasis on Judaism, Christianity and Islam, while serving as an oasis of multiculturalism and a space for coexistence among the residents of Jerusalem and beyond.


Jerusalem International YMCA
26 King David St.
Jerusalem 91002, Israel


Jerusalem 13.10.19

Anchor 1

About The Biennale


The Jerusalem Biennale is dedicated to the exploration of the spaces where contemporary art and the Jewish World of Content intersect. The mission of the Biennale is to allow multiple creative forces to manifest themselves within the framework of Contemporary Jewish Art. The Biennale provides active professional artists and curators with a prestigious platform to exhibit artworks and exhibitions that relate, in one way or another, to Jewish thought, spirit, experience or tradition, thus revealing a new conversation of Judaism.

Tellifoun-Tefellin |

Chama Mechtaly | 2019


About the curator

Amit Hai Cohen is an international multidisciplinary artist, musician, filmmaker and curator living in Jerusalem. His work includes short films, composition for film and dance, and Artistic and musical projects with which he performs worldwide. His family is from the Berber village "Tizgui" in Southern Morocco and Djerba, Tunisia  .his roots have a strong influence on his work.

Follow ZIARA


Join our mailing list. Never miss an update

Thanks for submitting!

about the b
bottom of page