MUSIC A French mother, Italian father, Silvia Coarelli decided to settle in Tangier just over a year ago to produce African artists. She sat down with Made in Tanger to discuss her arrival, integrating into society here, her work and her life in the city of the Strait.
Made in Tanger: How did you end up in Tangier? Silvia Coarelli: I work in the music work, I have a number of Moroccan, Algerian, and African artists and in Europe, I had more and more problems getting the artists to meet each other. So I need to choose a place outside of Europe to host the artists without needing a visa. And after travelling around, I chose Morocco and the City of Tangier which resembles Naples the most, where I’m from: the Mediterranean ports, crossing points and even an atmosphere of meeting others. Made in Tanger: What are your different observations about Tangier? Silvia Coarelli: When I start to work in a new culture, we meet a lot of people and there’s a need for communication, especially with Italians who are here (as opposed to the French who have already developed a network), that I had worked with in different institutions. Italians don’t have a network, we are the least nationalistic I think, we mix in more. The idea was to stay in this “anarchy” of organization, but at the same time, organize events that could interest and touch them. Therefore, I made the link between the community and the events here, and above all, I have the advantage of speaking French. Made in Tanger: How do you manage the artists? Silvia Coarelli: In Europe the market is very closed. I have artists who ask me to manager them, it happens by chance, meeting and building contacts. I have three Algerian artists that I manage, I have a Moroccan artist, one from Cap Vert, one from Angola, a bit all off the place. What’s most important to me is to bring together the production means in the artist’s country. Therefore I do the opposite: instead of sending African artists to Europe, we come to them with our technique and technology and produce them in their home country. What’s missing in Africa today isn’t the means, but training for the technicians. And at the same time, we can make contacts. The goal is therefore to create an economy around them and to avoid sending the artists to Europe. They have a social and political role to play in their countries and in being far away they aren’t able to fulfill this role. Made in Tanger: Do you bring African artists to Morocco? Silvia Coarelli: Yes, I’m equipping myself now, finding sponsors, to build my network. The idea is that it will benefit the City of Tangier. I’m going to work on the region thanks to the Elisa Chimenti Foundation, COSPE and also Darna theatre with whom we’ve put on a tarantella show. These are the things that happen slowly, gently, but it comes. Made in Tanger: We spoke about the artists, your work, tell me about your life in Tangier. Silvia Coarelli: I love my life here, I love the rhythm of life here, the tolerance of the people. They say that people from the north are closed, but I’ve found that we integrate well, there’s real life in the area. We really participate in the social life of the neighbourhood, we are accepted with our differences, with our ways that were perhaps shocking at first, but after they accepted our lifestyle Plus, I’ve chosen to live in the medina for integrating. We have the possibility rub elbows with the minister as well as the guardian on the street, you can find anything, anywhere. It’s super. Made in Tanger : What are your favourite areas of Tangier? Silvia Coarelli: I hope that the Cervantes theatre will reopen one day. Evidently the Italian institutions who are a magnificent monument and who connect Morocco and Italy in a concrete way, it’s my magical place. And I would love that Moroccans and Tangeroise can access it easier and rediscover it because it’s our heritage. My big dream would be to make the palace an art school with photography, painting, cinema, theatre, music, it’s a dream place and it’s also Italy’s biggest savoir-faire. Another favourite place is the sea and the ocean, it’s also the magic of Morocco,, having a foot in the two seas. Petit Socco, swarming and all, I love it and all the small hidden spots of the medina. The place that I love for the fish is the port. We eat directly at the fishermens’ places, we eat fresh, with our hands, it’s brilliant! Interview Zineb Bennouna Photo DR Translation Mandy Sinclair