About

​​Harvest Festival Marrakech draws on the tradition, present in many parts of the world, of holding an annual celebration around the time of the main harvest, which varies from place to place. Harvest festivals celebrate abundance and liberty in the broadest sense. Beyond the historical bounty of food and seasonal break from agricultural work, they have evolved to embrace a sense of community and a recognition of diversity. Harvest Festival Marrakech emphasises the “local”: agroecology, biodiversity, landscapes, culture and gastronomy performed and produced in the Marrakech-Safi region and beyond. 

The festival is organised by the Global Diversity Foundation (GDF), it was born out of the High Atlas Cultural Landscapes programme, which has been co-led alongside communities in the High Atlas region for over a decade. 

Our festival programming covers a diverse set of events, from film screenings and education-led participatory workshops to roundtables holding critical conversations. We host creative explorations around questions of ecology and organise knowledge-driven field trips. In partnership with aligned spaces, you will find gastronomic offerings, markets, concerts and exhibitions. We are also committed to social impact through community outreach which we achieve through collaboration with other local organisations for closed-door events during the run of the festival that allow us to share our resources, education and networks. 

Programming thematics reflect the complex web of ecological and social contexts that intersect across the Marrakech-Safi region. We welcome both celebratory contexts as well as the creation of space to share more challenging discourses. Protecting the biodiversity and social livelihoods of the High Atlas stands as our foundation for thinking through the challenges we face as global ones that require dynamic and creative approaches to healing and system change. With this in mind, we sometimes host international participants which allows for generative exchanges to be had and creates lines of solidarity across borders.

Stay tuned to @harvest_marrakech on Instagram to ensure you are fully informed.

Timing

Timing: Harvest Festival – with its focus on agroecology, biodiversity, landscapes, culture and gastronomy – runs semi-annually in Fall, and Spring. We host a special edition recognising Yennayer (Amazigh New Year). The Fall edition takes place from October 15th to 31st, revolving around World Food Day (October 16th). Meanwhile, the Spring edition runs from May 15th to 31st, coinciding with the International Day for Biological Diversity (May 22nd). The Yennayer edition takes place from January 12th to 14th and celebrates the beginning of the Amazigh agricultural calendar.

We also aim to offer some form of continuous and responsive programming, so you may see events pop up around the rest of the year.

Location

Harvest Festival Marrakech takes place across the city at various locations which shift according to the programme of each edition. We host events in cultural spaces, gardens, restaurants, cinemas, cafes, hotels and more. If you would like to open your space up to host a HFM event we are always looking to grow the spaces we collaborate with. 

Inclusivity

Harvest Festival Marrakech is an inclusive space, we welcome everyone to our events and encourage you to bring friends and family along with you. All ages and backgrounds are welcomed and contribute greatly to the dialogues we get to share. 

We want to create open-minded spaces which are reflective of the community participants we design our events with, from cooperatives to farmers, craftspeople, scientists, artists, chefs, filmmakers, educators, activists and more. 

We try to prioritise Darija speaking events and are working on getting stronger at offering mediation and translation of language during these events but generally speaking we aim to be flexible to the preference of those leading events as well as the audiences in attendance. 

Harvest Festival curated events are always free; we do not charge for anything we curate and produce. If an event is costed/ticketed, the money goes directly to the business or space hosting it, as with HFM lunch and supper clubs. Harvest Festival Marrakech is a not-for-profit space. Some events may have limited capacities which is why you will occasionally find a registration essential link in the programme.

If there is anything we can do to make an event more accessible, we welcome your suggestions. 

Objectives

Harvest Festival Marrakech is a platform for exploring the challenges and opportunities of transitioning to a more equitable, just and regenerative world by taking action locally. Through our programming, we aim to create spaces for collective learning, nurturing and community building and to consolidate and strengthen a community that is building a nascent green economy that promotes low carbon outputs, resource efficiency and social inclusiveness. 

As the festival is linked to GDF’s High Atlas Cultural Landscapes programme one of our objectives is to promote conscious consumption of goods and services from the region between people who share a commitment to producing and consuming sustainably. 

We believe a synergy of health and wellbeing can be attained by all communities through investing in sustainable livelihoods that support those who are stewards of the land and the important ancestral knowledge of our foodways and cultural heritage. 

Supporting High Atlas Communities

Harvest Festival is motivating a collective of partners from diverse sectors to pursue their efforts to (1) inform the general public about biodiversity-friendly local products that support community livelihoods; (2) support institutional efforts to establish certification and labelling of unique regional products that support local livelihoods; (3) develop an online marketplace to promote goods and services derived from biological resources that are equitably traded, safe and sustainably harvested;  (4) assist associations and cooperatives to directly trade their cosmetic, craft and culinary products, benefitting producers and consumers alike;  (5) design agricultural, culinary and ecological tourism circuits that encourage small group visits, allow communities to represent their own biocultural diversity, and deliver direct benefits to people who are stewards of regenerative agriculture, ecology and economy; and (6) launch apprenticeship and educational opportunities to build awareness and skills for beekeeping, organic agriculture, product development, marketing and other elements of a vibrant regional economy.

Organisers

Global Diversity Foundation, an international non-profit organisation, developed the Harvest Festival concept and worked with the Moroccan Biodiversity and Livelihoods Organisation, a Moroccan NGO, and many other partners to develop specific elements of the inaugural Autumn 2021 edition of Harvest Festival Marrakech. GDF continues to coordinate the festival, curating the predominance of its programming in collaboration with a collective of various spaces and individuals who respond to thematics or questions we are exploring collectively. 

Shopping

One of the goals of Harvest Festival is to promote the purchase and use of local cosmetic, craft and culinary products, along with other goods and services, that sustain livelihoods while contributing to healthy lifestyles. We curate the High Atlas Food Market throughout the year to showcase the amazing products and goods produced by the High Atlas cooperatives we proudly collaborate with.

You will find details about the markets including dates and locations on our programme of events during each festival. 

Sponsors

Harvest Festival Marrakech is organised without financial sponsorship or ownership by any entity or individual. We rely on the generous contribution from our community collaborators on in-kind support with venues and occasional production. 

Two institutions provided seed funding to cover the core costs of communicating, designing and organising Harvest Festival and especially its inaugural Autumn 2021 edition:  the Darwin Initiative, a UK government grants scheme that helps to protect biodiversity and the natural environment through locally based projects worldwide, and the Swiss-based MAVA Foundation, which supports conservation to benefit people and nature.

Harvest Festival – Marrakech

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