On Your Mark, Get Set, Draw! Moroccan Youth Sketch Their Vision of Society
The sun was rising on the waves of the Mediterranean, sending its warm shafts and bronze hue on the eternal city of Tangier – a city that has always been at the crossroads of cultural diversity and exchanges.
It was July 20, 2016. And the young members of NET-MED Youth Morocco were getting ready to start a promising 3-day workshop where humor would be the star of the show.
The event was hosted by La Maison de la Presse and gathered 15 youth and renowned editorial cartoonists. The goal was clear: to explore cartooning as a medium to tackle youth issues.
“When I talked to the members of my organization about this workshop, we thought it would be a great idea to take part in it and learn new tools of expression,” said Fadoua Rasmouki, member of NET-MED Youth and UECSE. “What I appreciated about this event is that despite our different view points, we all felt an excellent group synergy that made us go beyond our differences to a concrete result.”
Needless to say that the multiple sessions of the workshop were fun, rich and constructive. The young civil society leaders learnt the value of cartooning in the construction of public opinion and were encouraged to use editorial cartoons as a means of expression for activities within their organizations.
First, Moroccan youth issues were grouped under several themes: education, culture, health, employment, civic participation, freedom of expression, access to information and gender equality. Then came the creative part where ideas were translated into powerful and impactful cartoons that reflect the daily life and the vision of Moroccan youth.
“The exchanges we have had with youth were enriching and testify to the fact that editorial cartoons can break barriers and eliminate linguistic obstacles,” said Saad Jalal, president of the Moroccan Cartoonist Center.
But the creativity of this workshop did not stop there.
Youth and cartoonists want to take this initiative further and organize a cartoon exhibit next fall in order to raise awareness among the general public of the worries, challenges and aspirations of Morocco’s young population.
“The exhibit will stimulate reflection and will open up dialogue,” said Abdelmajid Moudni, president of the association Médias et Cultures. “It will put the problems of Moroccan youth in perspective instead of laying out a ready-made reality.”
Among the editorial cartoonists were Khalid Gueddar from Maroc and Nidhal Ghariani from Tunisia, both working with Cartooning for Peace.
This project is carried out in collaboration with Cartooning for Peace, the Moroccan Cartoonist Center and La Maison de la Presse in Tangier. It is inspired by Draw me the Mediterranean, a Cartooning for Peace exhibit that offers the audience, through editorial cartoons, the keys to read and understand the main issues affecting the Mediterranean basin.
Activities building skills among youth organizations and young journalists; to enhance youth representation in media and promote freedom of expression, media and information literacy and youth-generated media content.
Activities joining youth organizations, employment experts and different national stakeholders to engage in dialogue and work together on unemployment solutions and skills needs.
Activities empowering youth to participate in the communal and national development, revision and implementation of national youth strategies and public policies.