The Moroccan Government announced on Monday the easing of the restrictions of the coronavirus accompanied by the opening of cinemas, theatres, cultural centres, libraries and museums on the condition of not exceeding 50% of the capacity. A relief for the players in the field who have suffered, for the most part, from a cessation of activity since the onset of the health crisis.
The culture sector was the third most affected by the health crisis since its appearance in March 2020. In addition, its turnover was reduced by 60%.
According to the CGEM, no less than 100,000 jobs were directly affected, while the federation of cultural and creative industries (FIDCC) evoked an amount of 2 billion DH less for the year 2020.
But beyond the socio-economic aspects, it is also the artistic and social aspect that has paid the price, leaving the cities and its citizens sadly deprived of exhibitions, cinema, festivals, which attract tourism in many regions of Morocco, while providing a creative outlet for local musicians.
These investments and innovations will have to resume gradually, after being hampered by a year of inactivity. As vaccines begin to roll out across the Kingdom, the art world must prepare for a post-pandemic world, filled with new opportunities and challenges.
The digitization of culture, a long-term solution?
Since the spread of the coronavirus, many concerts, art events and festivals have taken place online. However, nearly one in two people worldwide cannot access it due to issues such as lack of internet connectivity, according to UNESCO estimates.
This pandemic confirmed that it was urgent to innovate the sector with solutions in line with this contemporary era and its evolution. Thanks to digital, Moroccans have been able to stay close to culture, within reach of art, exhibitions and activities all over the world.
It was also for the many players in the sector to reach a new audience much younger and fully anchored in the digital age.
In this sense, the Ministry of Culture plans to create a platform dedicated to artistic and theatrical works which presents numerous artistic and theatrical works.
In this sense, the responsible minister, Othmane El Firdaous, indicated that his department is moving towards the creation of a digital platform to legally support associations that present theatrical pieces to be posted on such a portal.
The sketched vision of El Ferdaous aims to bring a new method of cultural consumption through digital platforms. The COVID-19 crisis has shown Morocco that it lacks digital infrastructure. The minister wants to take the initiative to promote culture digitally.
However, we should not rely only on digital. We should lead other scalable and functional solutions to preserve culture and register it sustainably in the future as places for all that convey values and which are available to Moroccans who wish to discover their heritage and open up to the world.
The easiest way to support the creative economy is to support the institutions and creatives that are part of the sector. Visiting galleries, attending theatre and music performances, and shopping from local designers all have a positive impact on the industry.