Mahi Binebine is an internationally renowned Moroccan artist known for using art to explore the cultural identity and history of his home country. Born in Marrakech in 1959, Binebine first found success as a writer before turning to painting. Since then, he has created artworks that explore themes of Moroccan identity, history and culture.
One of Mahi Binebine‘s most famous works is the series of paintings entitled “Gardens of the Night”. This series of oil paintings, created in the 1990s, depicts figures in traditional Moroccan dress in enigmatic nighttime landscapes. The bright colors and abstract shapes give the paintings a waking dream-like feel, but the Moroccan cultural context is always present. The figures wear djellabas, babouches and turbans, reminiscent of Moroccan cultural identity.
Mahi Binebine also explores the darker aspects of Moroccan history in his work. In his series of paintings entitled “The Prisoners”, he depicts figures lying imprisoned in narrow, oppressive spaces. These paintings represent the dark years of Morocco’s history, when many political dissidents were imprisoned and tortured. Binebine’s paintings are both poignant and expressive, evoking the suffering and oppression of these people.
Mahi Binebine is not only a visual artist, but also an accomplished novelist. In his novel “The Slave’s Sleep”, he also explores themes of Moroccan identity and history. The novel follows the story of a young slave trying to find his place in the world, while facing issues such as slavery, racism and discrimination. As in his paintings, Binebine uses the Moroccan cultural context to explore more universal themes. Mahi Binebine is a versatile Moroccan artist who uses his art to explore themes of identity, history, and culture in his home country. Whether through his paintings or his novels, Mahi Binebine offers a unique perspective on life in Morocco and the challenges people face in their quest for identity and freedom. His work is both moving and challenging, and deserves to be recognized as an important contribution to contemporary Moroccan culture.