Tahar El Qor: “This edition takes place in a context of resumption of cultural life”

Tahar El Qor, Director General of the 14th Tangier International University Theater Festival In this interview, Tahar El Qor talks about the contribution of this event in terms of promoting theatrical art and cultural life in Tangier in particular and in Morocco in general.ALM: After the postponement of FITUT to 2020, could you tell us about the return of this event and its programming for this cultural return? Tahar El Qor: This edition comes in a somewhat difficult and special context linked to the Covid-19 pandemic but the resumption of cultural life in Morocco. We tried after a moment's hiatus for a year to embark on this experience and it was not easy. We were able to overcome financing and cinema difficulties among others. We were fortunate again this year that this event takes place under the High patronage of HM King Mohammed VI and to benefit from the support of Abdelmalek Essaâdi University, the National School of Commerce and Management of Tangier (ENCGT ), the wilaya and our partners. The 14th FITUT is in fact an opportunity to reconnect with this atmosphere full of emotion and love for the theater in strict compliance with the health rules in force and by the two techniques of face-to-face and distance mixing. Has this pandemic period influenced the festival's programming? The choice of the theme “Let's rekindle the flame of the theater” of the 14th FITUT corresponds perfectly to the current situation and this period of revival of theater and cultural life. We have tried to present a varied program and with the participation of troops from Arab countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Jordan, Kuwait and Morocco, from those from Europe such as Italy and Lithuania and Asia like China. This year, we had a lot of constraints concerning the management of rooms with physical distancing, wearing a mask, health pass, etc. We transported part of the event to rooms in Tetouan and M'diq. What distinguishes the programming of this edition? This 14th FITUT knows the presentation of plays dealing with different subjects and allowing to discover other cultures with a jury composed of the poet and playwright Said Abernous, the actress Farah El Fassi, the actress Hind Saadidi, the actor Abdellah Didane, Ahmed Dafri, professor of media and communication, journalist-writer and critic, and Amine Nassour, actor, director and professor of artistic education. We have chosen this year to pay tribute to the artist Safia Ziani, because she is one of the first women to take the torch of the theater and thus contributed to the promotion of this art in Morocco. His career is full of achievements and successes in the fields of theater and cinema. We also decided to honor Mustapha Haouchine, who was able to distinguish himself by his roles in several plays and keep his mark in the promotion of theater in Tangier. He is one of the great artists who did not have the luck they deserve. The program of this edition is also marked by the organization of a round table whose theme concerns the role of art in the bachelor's system and with the participation of a host of professors and specialists in the field. Could you explain to us the secret of the success and longevity of this festival? With its momentary stop in 2020, the festival is in its 15th year, it is a whole life full of emotions, surprises, discoveries and love for the theater. The success of this event is quite simply due to the commitment, self-sacrifice and continuity in the same breath of FITUT. The objective is to institutionalize it as a place of meeting and exchange on the art of the theater and to make discover this magical world of the theater to the students, including the newcomers, to the preparations and to the holding of this event.