CASABLANCA—At the edge of the city sits Les Abattoirs, a crumbling cathedral of art-deco architecture that served as the city’s slaughterhouse for more than a century. After the last generation of butchers left in 2002 the nearly 14-acre complex became the unlikely home of a public art movement in a city where art, fighting uphill against a lack of space, funding, and free expression, struggles to be accessible. Les Abattoirs changed that, bringing free performances, workshops, and concerts to the industrial, working-class neighborhood of Hay Mohammadi.
But now, most of those artists are gone. The gates are guarded. The warehouses are silent.
“This place was magical,” said Yassine Elihtirassi, manager of Colokolo, a group of traveling acrobats that once called Les Abattoirs home.
Click on the image above to read the rest of our story (and to watch a great video), just published in the Atlantic’s City Lab division. As a new batch of students is about to arrive in Morocco, we salute the students who produced this amazing multimedia reporting. It’s a story you won’t soon forget.
With warmest regards,