Solid Sea-case 04: (M)RE-tourism
with Multiplicity, 2004

Both Moroccan and European. Not completely European in Europe, not completely Moroccan in Morocco: what distinguishes the MRE (Marocains Résidents à l’Étranger or Moroccan expatriates) is their constant fluctuation between two identities. A continuous fluctuation that doesn’t stabilize in either of the two geographic terminals that delimit the MRE’s lives, both to the north and to the south of the Mediterranean. This double identity is characteristic of many of the Moroccan temporary emigrants. While working in Europe, they do not relinquish their plan of going back to Morocco to live and keep sending money “home”, thus projecting hopes and desires onto their country of origin. But this double identity also affects those who have taken up permanent residence in Europe and return to Morocco as tourists. Tourists who also are often investors, new colonizers in the land of their grandparents. Worldwide there are 2.582.097 MRE; 2.185.821 in Europe. Every year, especially for the summer holidays, the MRE temporally abandon their residence and return to Morocco. This flow across the Mediterranean – in an opposite direction to the migration routes – activates important transformations in the social and spatial conditions of some parts of Morocco. The introduction of new models in the financial and investment systems, in the types of construction and in the processes of urban development has changed especially the coastal areas of Morocco. In the recent years these have been extensively subjected to the models of territorial use imposed by mass tourism, real estate investment and exploitation.
With (M)RE-tourism, Multiplicity continues its study of the new geography of the Mediterranean. The “Solid Sea” study investigates how the contemporary condition affects the identities of the peoples who constantly cross it.

Project has been produced and first exhibited within the exhibition Tour-isms, The Defeat of Dissent. Critical Itineraries, held at Fundació Antoni Tàpies in 2004.

Exhibition touring: On Mobility, de Appel centre in Amsterdam, 2005; Büro Friedrich, Berlin, 2005; Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, 2006; 2ª IABR/International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, 2005; Líneas de mira, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas, 2007.

Research has been published in «Domus» n. 870, 2004, pp. 66–77.