Photo by Alaya Ang

Confluence is a 1-year residency and research programme taking place between Marrakech and Glasgow curated by Alaya Ang, Francesca Masoero and Shayma Nader.

This initiative aims to foster and stimulate mutual exchange between artists,curators and cultural practitioners in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regionand in Scotland in an effort to bring in multiple contextual understandings around water as a political, historical and economic substance.

As ephemeral and vast archives of experience and memory, the sea as well as other bodies of water lie at the heart of the complex interconnectedness of humans and non-humans and the entanglements of our environments. The themes of this project emerge from the intersection of QANAT and CCA’s interests in water as a complex site of different cultural meanings and sociopolitical practices across time and space.

Weaving together different territories, stories, and communities, Confluence seeks to reflect on the transformative and generative moments of breakdown; resistances in the water; pirate practices as care; and harbours as sites of both extractive economies and redistributive ecologies.

Our entry points are literatures of the sea; inland and fluvial mobility routes carving trades, conflicts and exchanges throughout the Mediterranean and the Sahara; intimate histories and current legacies of colonial administrations of the waters intertwining different territories across seas; as well as coastal and fluvial ecologies in Scotland, Morocco, and beyond. While taking into account contemporary material infrastructures of (im)mobility, the project also explores how thinking relationally through water affects our understanding of identities as shifting, various and in-flux.

Confluence articulates through two interrelated strands: a residency and a research programme. Each of these aims to create a framework for artists, researchers, curators, and scholars to engage in conversation and share knowledge around water as a matter and an architecture shaping times, spaces, our ways to relate to, and understand them.