RIVERS OF THE WORLD – Morocco
Rivers of the World (ROTW) has been delivered in partnership by Thames Festival Trust and the British Council since 2006.
Implemented in Morocco in 2019, the Rivers of the World is a two-year international arts education project under the British Council's Connecting Classrooms programme that engages young students in middle-schools to connect with their local rivers, environment and life through arts. Throughout the project period, the students closely worked with Moroccan artist and illustrator Aicha El Beloui to understand their surroundings, value of local rivers and represent them in form of innovative arts based on themes as River of Life, Culture, City, Work, Resource and Pollution.
How did they work?
Aicha let six workshops with over 60 students and their arts teachers within six public middle-schools in the city of Rabat. She asked students to use their imagination and creativity to bring their ideas to life while contemplating the place that the Bourgreg River played in their imagination.
The entire process of creating artworks based on themes of rivers was engaging for everyone involved. It not just helped students to enhance their knowledge about their local river but also motivated them to think critically, use their imagination and create something beautiful out of all.
What was the outcome?
By the end of the first year of Rivers of the World project, the students produced a total of 6 art pieces. The students not only gained a firsthand experience of creating artworks within an exciting creative workshop but learned to collaborate, research, and analyse their role as citizens in the context of their cities and environment.
The final artwork was then showcased at the Thames Festival 2019 edition as well as in the city of Peterborough.
For its second year, British Council is working with the same six middles schools in Morocco to connect and exchange with six schools in Peterborough, UK. Students from the Moroccan schools will again work with a Moroccan artist to produce high quality artwork, this time on the river of the city of Peterborough. The final artwork will then be showcased at the Totally Thames Festival in September 2020.
Also as part of the Connecting Classrooms programme, schools in both countries will receive a briefing on the art project and the wider BC schools offer - including a range of resources, including the ROTW Education Pack, which will help them build and develop their school partnership and (including sign-posting towards Connecting Classrooms partnership funding if applicable).
An exchange programme between participating schools will also be set up for British and Moroccan teachers and staff.