Kaat Benahid, Derb Ouali 18, 40000 Marrakech Medina
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Artists In Residence


In the heart of the medina (old city), Dar Kawa is a 17th century riad (large traditional house with inner courtyard) that throughout the year receives travellers from across the world, giving them an ideal location to experience the authentic Marrakech. The beautiful riad was restored by creative force Valerie Barkowski, who has kept the historical elements intact while updating it with her distinctive twist of style and elegance. For the last twenty years, Valerie’s local workshop has worked with artisans to produce exceptionally high-quality home linens and lifestyle accessories that have attracted a loyal following. In keeping with her support for creative sustainability, Dar Kawa previously hosted an AIR program from 1997-2004 under the banner of the Sahart Foundation.

After a long hiatus, we are excited to launch the next incarnation of the Dar Kawa Artists in Residence program beginning in the summer of 2023.

For the last two weeks of July and the first two weeks of August, Dar Kawa will host 4 selected creatives, who will each have their own living quarters while sharing open air communal spaces, including the exceptional patio and rooftop terraces.

The program is open to applicants across the world, in all disciplines including fine arts, writing, film, culinary, designers, etc. The intention is to give artists creative time and space, while selecting a group that will have potential for mutual inspiration, and even collaboration. *

While there are no obligations for the artists to produce, we hope the riad itself and Marrakech will inspire many projects. For those who have never been to Morocco or this part of the world, each year we will suggest a few themes and ideas that the participants are free to take reign of (or dismiss).

Dar Kawa is ideal for exploring Marrakech, while also operating as a base to visit other sites and cities in the country, from deserts to mountains to beaches.

As the residency takes place during the warm summer months, we want to take advantage of the dry season as best we can, by activating creative energies. Therefore, the guiding theme for 2023 is HOT AiR.

Although Morocco is a majestic country, rich in biodiversity and resources, the climate crisis is expected to put a number of pressures on water resources, with predictions of reduced precipitation by 10-20%, with the most severe in the Saharan region by 2100. Cultivable land will also be compromised because of water shortages and soil erosion. Additionally, ecological non-action will reduce snowpack in the Atlas Mountains.

Perhaps these background aspects might conjure an idea or two. As the residency is intended to be an enjoyable “give and take,” there is plenty in Marrakech for residents to investigate, culturally and socially. Throughout the stay, the resident artist manager ** will recommend various activities and projects that might additionally inspire the participants, based on their interests.

* We encourage not only visual artists, but also writers, dancers, performers, chefs, furniture designers, and creatives from all walks of life to apply. We hope to create an ideal mix of individuals who will take full advantage of what Dar Kawa offers as a living space, while encouraging them to get intimate with Morocco and maximize the special monthlong community. The following logistics and limitations should be kept in mind:

  • The riad is pristinely kept and maintained, and should be fully respected. While the bedrooms are comfortable, they are not ideal as a workspace for “messy” artists. So if your calling card is jumbo splatter paintings, this residency is not for you. Communal spaces are negotiable among the participants, as to utility.
  • Breakfasts will be provided, but all other meals are the responsibility of the participants. Our chef Saida can assist and provide additional meals (at cost), while residents are also free to utilize the kitchen to prepare and make their own meals. Groceries and markets are easily accessible, as are local restaurants and food stalls. If the culinary history of the region inspires you, this is good opportunity to invent a new tagine.
  • ** A fifth resident manager, an artist or curator with knowledge of Dar Kawa, will be on premise to provide additional guidance and artistic camaraderie.  Dar Kawa’s normal staff will also be available should participants need expert local advice and suggestions.
  • Dar Kawa cannot accommodate partners and family, and duos or collectives will have to apply individually.
  • Dar Kawa will provide accommodations for the entirety of the residency in Marrakech. All other expenses, including airfare, additional travel, visas, etc, will be the responsibility of the participants.
  • Knowledge of French and/or English languages is helpful.

There is an application fee of €20 EUROS. The application portal is officially open and the deadline is February 15, 2023. Residents will be selected and all applicants notified by February 28, 2023.

For any questions or inquiries, please send an email to: air@darkawa.net