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Farouk El Maarouf

About me

Freshly graduated from the Center of Moroccan Cultural Studies at Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fez, El Maarouf Farouk was awarded a fellowship at MECAM-Fellowships for the IFG "Aesthetics & Cultural Practice" (Philipps Marburg University). Currently, El Maarouf is a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture, Giessen University.


Dissertation working title: The Aesthetics of the Margin: Vernacular Art Communities, Curious Dealers, Unorthodox Art Consumers, and Alternative visualities in Morocco.


My research project revolves around visual art and art communities in contemporary Morocco. It is about communities (artists, artisans, art dealers, middlemen, collectors, experts, passionate art savourers) that, unlike the typical top-notch, upscale, wealthy fine art connoisseurs, live under the line of poverty and hardly make ends meet. By focusing on the marginalized, poverty-ridden communities that dwell in hidden unsightly Moroccan markets, weekly souks, café bazaars, informal transaction locations, I attempt to come to an understanding of how such communities conceive of art in the absence of the most basic forms of decent living. Hence, my research project departs from the contemporary cultural, social and political history of Morocco to generate an adequate discussion on the meanings and implications of seeing (visualizing) in the domain of art and culture.


Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Joern Ahrens

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0839-453X


  • Street art, festivity, and the politics of possession in the Moroccan urban space. Hg. von Merian Centre for Advanced Study in the Maghreb (MECAM), Tunis, MECAM Papers (Juni). (Translated into Arabic and French).

  • Coming to Terms with Marginal Art(ists) in Morocco (2022). Trafo Blog for Transregional Research. MECAM.          

  • Game Without Game: (un)timely Teen Politics in Morocco (2021). Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, Brill

    Co-authors: Moulay Driss El Maarouf and Taieb Belghazi. DOI:10.1163/18739865-01403006

  • The Chromatic Performance of Yassine Balbzioui (2021). Book contribution by Iwalewahaus:  Universität Bayreuth

    Book title: Yassine Balbzioui: Identity to Rent                                

    ISBN: 978-3-947902-02-6

  • City as Canvas: Street Art(ists), Walls and the City between State Patronage and Artistic Transformation (2020). Journal of Matatu, 51. Brill

    Co-author: Moulay Driss El Maarouf. DOI: 10.1163/18757421-05101009

  • Covid-19: A Critical Ontology of the Present (2020). Journal of Educational Philosophy and Theory. Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.

    Co-authors: Moulay Driss El Maarouf and Taieb Belghazi. DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2020.1757426


  • Keynote speaker at the SeSaMo (2022) conference at University of Naples L'Orientale, Italy. Panel 29: Class, a Useful Category for Ethnography? Case Studies from Egypt and Morocco. Presentation title: The Task of the Ethnographer: Waiting and Vernacular Art Communities as a Precarious Social category.

  • Talk that was part of the activities of the research group “Figures of Thought, Turning Points” (DFG, Leibniz), CNMS, University of Marburg, Germany (2022).  Talk title: Traveling optics of the weak:  invisible art practitioners and the pursuit of beauty in Morocco.

  • Public Presentation and workshop at Tunis University (2022). Presentation title: Street Art, Festivity and The Politics of Possession in The Moroccan Urban Space.

  • Public presentation at Marburg University (2021). Presentation title: The Aesthetics of the Margin: Vernacular Art Communities in Morocco

  • "A New Covid-Reality?: Philosophy's Voice In and For the Crisis" By COCO I (2021). Paper name: COVID-19: Knowing our Disasters Through Memesis.

  • Land Conference at the University of Cape Town, South Africa (2019). Paper name: When Archeology Meets its Arc: The Soil and Its Diggers in Times of Precariousness.

Research Interests

  • Cultural Studies
  • Ethnography
  • Youth Activism
  • Diaspora
  • Post-structuralism


Faculty of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies



Member of the editorial board of 'Aesthetic Practices and Mediated Temporalities of the Maghreb and the Mashriq' blog series by the Merian Center for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb (MECAM), Philipps-Universität Marburg and Tunis University.

Kohorte XVI IPP