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AKDC Organizes Workshop and Seminar on Cultural Heritage in Morocco

Poster for the Seminar, designed by Ayoub El Jamal, TALIM Outreach Coordinator

The Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT (AKDC@MIT), in collaboration with the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM) to organize a workshop and seminar on the topic of “Documenting Cultural Heritage in Morocco.” The workshop, to be held on April 11, considers standards and best practices for documenting and presenting cultural heritage, and includes participants from museums, heritage sites, and cultural institutions throughout Morocco.

The seminar will be held the following day, and focus on documenting, preserving, and raising awareness of architectural heritage in northern Morocco. The seminar is generously sponsored by OCP Group. Sharon C. Smith, AKDC Program Head, and Michael A. Toler, Archnet Content Manager, organized the seminar program and will lead the workshop. Both events will be hosted by the old American Legation in Tangier.

In addition to the seminar and workshop, there will be a screening of documentary films on cultural heritage from the graduate program in documentary cinema at à l’Université Abdelmalek Essaadi in Tetouan.

The Moorish Pavilion at the Legation

The two days of events bring together scholars, organizations, and practitioners actively involved in documentation efforts to look at the history of architectural preservation in Morocco. Topics to be discussed include documenting and preserving Morocco’s cultural heritage, particularly architectural heritage, increasing professional and public awareness of the relevance of cultural heritage; discerning is most urgently in need of documentation; and the role of preservation in cultural, economic, and social development. The ultimate goal is to facilitate the documentation and preservation of architectural heritage through collaboration and exchange.

The seminar is free and open to the public. Click here to download the draft schedule In addition, it will be recorded, and highlights made available as a podcast.

The American Legation in Tangier is, itself, a National Historic Landmark of the United States. It was the first foreign property owned by the United States, and served as an active diplomatic post for more than 130 years.

The seminar and workshop are part of a continuing collaboration between AKDC@MIT and TALIM that has included the digitization and cataloging of approximately 2000 early 20th century negatives from the Legation’s collection, and an ongoing project to make available to the public approximately 70 hours of Moroccan music recorded by Paul Bowles between 1959 and 1962.


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