Education, creations and freedom at the Darna Association farm, Tangier

The taxi driver dropped us off at an out-of-town address near Cap Spartel, although he seemed unsure of where we were. We’re going to meet Abdelghani Bouzian, a multimedia artist from Tangier who makes giant sculptures out of materials he finds in junkyards.

He met us at the gate, smiling and satisfied. This is his paradise. It opens the gate of the so-called educational farms, breeding farms, zoos, orchards, school desks and, of course, art and craft workshops.

Abdelghani is the director of the non-profit association Darna. They take care of vulnerable children from Tangier. They have classes in various subjects, but above all, they learn about nature, agriculture, growing plants, animals… They have creative workshops, learn to sew, make ceramic objects, masks for theater performances, musical performances, etc.

“In Greek mythology, Tangier is described as a mythical Eden, and now we are forced to emigrate. Here, children do not have material things, but they have a rich life, the love of their parents and a beautiful country. Unfortunately, they have no future except precarious jobs where they can earn very little. That’s why everyone wants to go to the other side”.

I have never been in a similar place. On one side, cows and horses find the best place for a nap under the hibiscus, full of red leaves. On the other hand, the ostrich that greets us as we enter the craft workshops where Abdelhari makes oversized theatrical puppets, or sculptures from various recycled materials. He is proud to make everything with his own hands.

Children’s cries can be heard from one classroom. They are preparing a play.

Association Darna (“our house”) has found the right measure of creativity in education. Here children learn and have fun, discovering new worlds every day. They take care of the animals, learn to make cheese and various products that succeed and sell to tourists who find this place an attraction, and it is also open for them once a week.

We drank mint tea with a lot of honey. I thought that this man is doing something with his life and work that is far more important than any artist in Western Europe who chases after gallerists and longs to have a solo exhibition.

He exhibits every day, his works are all over the farm. A metal “Flying Woman” is displayed at the entrance to the farm, in the workshop there is a 2-meter horse made of recycled material, which moves its legs like Pinocchio. There is also a red man at the entrance to the cafe, long and grandiose, yet gentle and staring into the distance.

I liked the bus – the library the most. Abdelghani found an old bus somewhere, brought it to the farm and adapted it. Today, it is a space where children read, listen to music, research, and prepare for classes.

In front of the farm, at the entrance, he also managed to wedge the front part of a truck into a tree, as well as build a treehouse so that the children would have a different perspective to work from there.
Pippi Longstocking would love this place.

“We have a crystal sea and a deep sky. The light that floods us is the beginning of all things, the first energy that was the source of life. And when night falls, the smell of jasmine makes you feel sleepy and intoxicated and you think you are walking through a vague eternity”.

Thank you Abdelghani, thank you for making children’s lives better, and for us too.


Photo & prevodilac sa francuskog Senja Vild @senjamafn

Abdlghani Bouzian (@abdlghanibouzian)

fermepedagogiqueDarna (@fermedarna)

The characters and events in this story are partly fictitious. Any apparent similarity to real persons or events is intended by the author and is either a coincidence or the product of your own troubled imagination.

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Nataša Nikodijević Savin
Curated by Nataša

Producer (by degree and DNA structure).
A creative leader in business.
Entrepreneur. An artist. Curator and narrator.
Multitasking talent. Improviser. The inventor.



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