Nafora is an accessible fountain, situated in an ancient garden in the Medina of Marrakech. Its closed water cycle runs exclusively on excess water, fetched in swimming pools of surrounding hotels. Activating the attached bicycle provides energy for the water flow to let the fountain do its magic. Nafora is the final chain in an action which tends to emblematically liberate private water and make it accessible for kids of the Medina. Nafora existed for 1 day: 12 may 2018 in Jardin Sidi Bou Aâmer, Medina Marrakech.

Nafora comes forth out of an interest in the idiosyncratic role of the increasing foreign interest in the city of Marrakech. Ever since the 70’s, the growing presence of wealthy foreigners in the Medina of Marrrakech, is occupying space increasingly both physically as mentally. Through the transformation of riads without respecting the historical regulations, they are interfering with the complex social architecture of the city. While Arabic architecture focuses on the creation of enclosed private spaces, where women are liberated from the eyes on the street, the new riads open up rooftops for restaurants or viewpoints, destroying these well protected private scenes.

What is interesting however, is how the architecture of hotels, inside and outside the Medina, is reusing the same Arabic standards to create enclosed private spaces for tourists. Behind large hotel walls, foreign spaces are created which allow tourists to run away into a universal, comfortable and recognizable environment. Cut away from its context, a feeling of placelesness is created, where local rules and norms can be neglected and exchanged for liberal, western standards. This way, western safe spaces are generated for the visitors of the ancient Arabic city. Safe spaces to hide away from the original environment, back into the comfort zone.

The surrounding city merely becomes a spectacle, an amusement park, a tourist attraction.  

Nafora was made possible with the help of:

Pikala, Holland Bike Atelier vzw. 

Queens Collective Marrakech