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40 Under 40 Africa

Laila Hida

28 September 2020

Artist and founder, Le 18, Marrakech

After spending 12 years living in Paris, where she studied and worked as a photo producer, Laila Hida decided to return to her home country of Morocco, moving to Marrakech in 2012. A year later she founded Le 18, Derb el Ferrane, a multidisciplinary art space located in Riad Laarouss in the city’s medina – giving carte blanche to many young artists, photographers, performers and musicians to develop and exhibit work. From the get-go, an extensive programme of historical exhibitions, screenings and public programmes has explored cultural connections between Morocco and the rest of the world; in its first year, the space hosted exhibitions dedicated to the US artist Mel Bernstine, with work inspired by the alleyways of Marrakech, and the Moroccan film director Ahmed Bouanani. Its current programme explores the group of Moroccan film-makers who studied in Poland during the 1960s and ’70s.

In her own artistic work, Hida takes a conceptual approach to photography, using images to consider the perpetual transience of life; her current project, Everything is Temporary (2015–ongoing), uses her personal archive of texts and photographs to explore ‘the vertigo of rupture between lovers’.

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