The Virtual Museum of Jemaa El Fna

Written by Souad El Mghari

Following his exhibition about the famous storytellers’ circles of Jemaa el Fna (halqa) at the Ethnological Museum in Berlin, German director Thomas Ladenburger continues his work on this Moroccan landmark with his latest project; the Virtual Museum of Jemaa El Fna.

As an interactive website made of hundreds of photos, videos, and recordings that highlight different attractions the square has been known for; such as acrobats, dancers, herbalists, fortune tellers, comedians, magicians, and water carriers, the Virtual Museum of Jemaa El Fna focuses the most on the art of “halqa”, and is available for its visitors in Arabic, German, English and French.

In an interview with Huffpost Maghreb, the genius behind this virtual museum; German director Thomas Ladenburger explained his idea as; “I wanted to help preserve these traditions that may one day disappear as younger generations are not anymore ready to take over their parents’ legacies”. A great initiative on Ladenburger’s part, the best part of this artwork however is its interactive side, which the creator describes as; “Many storytellers no longer work today. So I transcribed and translated their stories, then created this interactive virtual museum, which also allows users to share their own stories. They can for example record the tales of their parents or grandparents with their smartphones and then publish them directly to the website”, and today “The platform is open, and now can continue to live through the Internet”, and so can the art of “halqa”.

You can visit and be part of the Virtual Museum of Jemaa El Fna as well through its website; www.alhalqa-virtual.com