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Announcing our International Exhibition AIR/PORT 2013

From July 1 – August 30 in Essaouira, Morocco

Belgian art collective and NGO Beauty Without Irony would like to propose an expo entitled Air/Port in Essaouira during the summer of 2013 (July 1 – August 30), with an art auction afterwards benefitting the local charity ‘Au Coeur de l’Amitié’. The expo will unite local and international artists in an effort to inspire, empower and motivate the young people of Essaouira and beyon  through different creative interventions on some of the most characteristic places of Essaouira.

Beauty Without Irony was established in Antwerp (Belgium) in 2001. Its main goal is to help create a brighter future by re-orienting youth towards a more sane, happy, healthy, tolerant and productive society and away from the consumerist, debt-ridden, destructive and bankrupt society we are finding ourselves in today, at the dawn of the global financial crisis, environmental disasters and all the other tragedies the world is going through.

For the last 8 years the major project of BWI has been Designers Against AIDS, an initiative to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among youth, as they were increasingly becoming victims to this disease due to ignorance. To achieve this goal, Designers Against AIDS sought to spread the safe sex message through what interests youth the most (pop culture) and through the people who influence them the most (pop stars). For that DAA partnered up with popular companies such as H&M, Eastpak, MAC Cosmetics and Marc Jacobs and popular stars such as Rihanna, Yoko Ono, Timbaland and Katy Perry to bring them the message and to make them proud advocates of safe sex through their individual fashion, works of art and music.
At the end of 2010, Designers Against AIDS launched the International HIV/AIDS Awareness Education Center (IHAEC) in Antwerp, Belgium. A place where young students from all over the world come to learn how to set up simple and effective HIV prevention and awareness programs. The students take this knowledge home, to replicate these campaigns in their countries of origin.

In tandem to this initiative, BWI would like to expand its field of work to other topical concerns of youth, who are beginning their adult life in a world that increasingly has no place for them due to the global financial crisis, the collapse of banks, delocalization of production coupled with the pressure to consume more and more, increasing cost of living and keeping up appearances just to belong, is proving to be disastrous for the hope and outlook of the younger generation. For the first time since WWII, the emerging generation has to content itself with a more modest life than their parents, which is both scary and difficult to accept. In response to this sentiment, BWI wants to remind them that the most precious things in life such as health, happiness and fulfillment are things that can come from within themselves and their environments; instead of relying on frenetic consumerism as a source of identity and fulfillment. BWI wants to remind them that the tools to fight the bleak future are innate in them: creativity, generosity, activism.  Not only for their own future but also for the future of the following generations

The theme and the event:

The expo Air/Port deducted its theme from two of the most prominent features of Essaouira, the wind (Air) and the sea (Port). The expo will exhibit artwork that exploits and features these two elements, in the most picturesque venues of Essaouira such as the Avenue Mohammed V; the Sqala, the Old Port and some of the streets of the Medina We chose these venues to allow maximum visibility and accessibility of the project for both locals and tourists. In conjuction to the expo, we want to hold workshops and exhibitions in local cultural institutions such as the Alliance Fran – Marocaine and participating galleries & museums.

The expo will also be a fantastic opportunity to include and encourage the more marginalized local youth. By partnering up with local NGO’s such as Au Coeur de l’Amité, we aim to run workshops whose results will equally be exhibited during the exposition.

Some of the artworks will be auctioned at the end of the exhibition to benefit those organizations, the money going into programmes that orient young people into a positive and productive participation in society.

Through the different artworks and workshops we hope to encourage the youth of Essaouira and beyond to find inspiration and appreciate their local environment and the different people who occupy it and to celebrate who they are and what they have.

Proposed activities during the exhibition:
– Commissioned art work printed on flags and exhibited along Avenue Mohammed V and the old port.
– Art workshops with disadvantaged kids to produce artwork to be exhibited on moored boats in the Old Port.
– Installations in some of the streets of the Médina.
– Expositions of the original artworks in local galleries, cultural institution and museums.

Proposed artists include:
– Didier Spindler (Essaouira)
– Hamsa Fakir (Essaouira)
– Monique  Favière (Essaouira)
– Houcine Miloudi (Essaouira)
– Mohamad Tifardine (Essaouira)
– Mohamad Tabal (Essaouira)
– Harabida Abderrahim (Essaouira)
– Amina Boukhabza (Essaouira)
– Mustapha Rafik (Essaouira)
– Redouane Bernaz (Essaouira)
– Mohamad Zouzaf (Essaouira)
– Hassan Najim (Essaouira)
– Antonio Paladino
– Serkan Sarrier (Berlin / NYC)
– Annick Geenen (Hasselt)
– Ben Van Alboom (Brussels)
– Bert Dankaert (Brussels)
– Tokio Hotel (Los Angeles)
– Daniel Riera (Barcelona)
– Davideo (Paris)
– Diego Franssens (Antwerpen)
– Dino Dinco (Los Angeles)
– Dominic Sio (Kuala Lumpur)
– Dominic Gigler (London)
– Douglas Friedman (Rio de Janeiro)
– Elias Wessel (New York)
– Emmanuel Laurent (Brussels)
– Eric Levy (Paris)
– Eva Goedel (Brussels)
– Eva Vermandel (London)
– Felix Richter (Rio de Janeiro)
– Filip Naudts (Brussels)
– Filip Van Roe (Brussels)
– Frank Horvat (Sao Paulo)
– Franky Verdickt (Antwerpen)
– Gianluca Tamorri (Paris)
– Glenn Glasser (NYC)
– Hannah & Joel (Paris)
– Hannelore Knuts (NYC)
– Nicholas Provost (NYC)
– Ike Ude (NYC)
– Jason Orton (London)
– Jean-Claude Wouters (Los Angeles)
– Jean Francois Carly(London)
– Jimmy Kets (Brussels)
– La Fortuna Studio (Brussels / Los Angeles)
– Karim Rashid (NYC)
– Lars Stephan (Berlin)
– Layla Aerts (Ghent)
– Marc Atlan (Paris / Los Angeles)
– Marie-Francoise Plissart (Brussels)
– Martin Bing (Antwerpen)
– Melanie Chereau (Paris)
– Mick Traen (Brussels)
– Monika Macken (Brussels)
– Nick Hannes (Brussels)
– Olaf Breuning (NYC)
– Peter Saville (London)
– Piet Goethals (Antwerpen)
– Raf Simons (Antwerpen / Paris)
– Romulo Fialdini (Rio de Janeiro)
– Ronny Smedts (Brussels)
– Teun Voeten (NYC)
– Thierry van Biessen (NYC)
– Thomas Vanhaute (Antwerpen)
– Tinko Czetwertynski (Los Angeles)
– Titus Symoens (Brussels)
– Tom Tosseyn (Antwerpen)
– Valéry Grancher (Paris)
– Werner Van Reck (Antwerpen)
– Yoko One (NYC)
– Xander Ferreira (Johannesburg / NYC)
– Youssef Nabil (Paris)
– Nicola Formichetti (NYC / Tokyo / Paris)
– Cyril Duval (NYC)
– Marco Santaniello (NYC / Tokyo)
– Justin Violini (NYC / Berlin)
– Base Design (Brussels)
– Gallery 51 artists (Antwerpen)
– Katrin Reinfurt (Shanghai)
– Karim Osman (Marrakech)
– Jordan Betten (NYC)
– Libertin Louison (Antwerpen / Paris)

With the support of:
Province of Essaouira, André Azoulay (Dar Souiri), Alliance Francaise-Marocaine, Othello Gallery, Damgaard Gallery, Auberge Tangaro, Caravane Café, Ginger Café, Beach Vagabond, Club Mistral, Au Coeur de L’Amitié, Sofitel Luxury Mogador (More partners TBC)