Bik Van der Pol
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Casablanca School of Walking
School of Walking, a dérive through Casablanca, history and minds is a series of walks, conversations, and a collection of audio and video recordings. On the invitation of the research project School of Casablanca.

Bik Van der Pol see walking as an act of resistance; a seemingly inconspicuous, neutral and everyday act of walking as a discursive act of freedom of thought. Points of departure are the connections between the Casablanca Art School and Souffles Magazine (banned in 1972), both associated with a revolutionary student movement at a time of sit-ins, strikes, and labour unrest. What is the effect of revolutionary movements on education, considering amnesia, the larger capitalist, extractivist drive and the urban modernization processes that produce ruins, ruptures and gaps while moving on to the next swath of land to develop? How to encompass simultaneous realities in movement, while experiencing the city as an environment, an ecosystem where citizens appropriate this ‘live tissue’ daily?
The process of walking that cannot be controlled nor censored and has the potential to weave relationships between urban texture and text in context of larger discussions of decolonization and modernization. Drawing lines between different markers and both understanding different narratives as (erased) parts of the archive, and as the (re)materialization of such
Casablanca School of Walking
narratives, walking as a political moment explored and opened perspectives on how ideas, concepts, and methodologies such as developed in the Casablanca Art School and Souffles at the time need to be recycled, re-activated and re-viewed today.

The School of Casablanca is a collaborative project that takes as its starting point the legacy of the Casablanca Art School and its innovative pedagogical methods and exhibition strategies in 1960s Morocco. The walks developed in collaboration with different actors marking moments in space and time. Participants included students of L’ École Supérieure des beaux-arts de Casablanca, architects, artists, and several other local experts.

As part of the research, a number of meetings, discussions and conversations took place with various cultural actors: Bert Flint, Mamma Group/Lahbib El Moumni, Mohamed Rachdi, Kenza Sefrioui, Sabrina Kamili, Florence Darsi, Maud Houssais, Fatima-Zahra Lakrissa, Maria Karim, Mohamed Jibril, Mehdi Azdem and Eric Van Hove.

In 2021, Bik van der Pol interviewed Bert Flint. In autumn 2022, they invite Fatima Mazmouz, Hassan Darsi, Maria Daif, Manal Aziz & Hamza Boussedra, and Mohamed Fariji to a series of public walks. Bik Van der Pol created visual essays from the filmed material. In 2023/2024 new walks take place.