Sara Ouhaddou

Visual Artist


Portrait of Sara Ouhaddou

Sara Ouhaddou

Artwork by Sara Ouhaddou

Credit @Francisco Nogueira

  • Visual Arts
  • Cities
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
"From Houston to Los Angeles I will do a comparative study of the social and political uses of the star symbol in the Arab world and in North America."

My art projects are based on collaborating with crafting communities in Morocco. Since 2013, I have been running workshops in regions across the country, seeking out those most affected by the declining local culture. For instance, I have become involved in ceramics in the Ourika Valley, weaving in the High Atlas mountains, embroidery in Tétouan, marble in the Sahara and glasswork in medinas throughout Morocco. Each workshop presents an exploration of the region’s social, political, economic, geographical and religious contexts. Working alongside local communities, I set up spaces for experimentation where our created artworks become instruments of emancipation. I also develop creative protocols to be upheld by the same crafting communities for many years to come.


Prior to this, Moroccan craftspeople had been favoring costly, low-quality imported products instead of producing works themselves. This pattern finds its roots in the colonial period, which saw local crafts turn into mere decorative commodities stripped of their utility. Coupled with modern globalization, this situation made craftsmanship very difficult, if not nigh on impossible. To tackle this, each workshop is a space for deconstruction, layering together history, archeology, anthropology, economics and other facets. The aim of this work is to revive the momentum that is so vital to creating and developing autonomy within marginalized communities. 


Born in 1986, Sara Ouhaddou lives and works between France and Morocco. Her mission is to address the various challenges facing crafting communities, envisaging art as a means of economic, social and cultural emancipation. An important theme in her work is the Arabic language, whose letters she dissects to create abstract symbols, before transforming these symbols into a language in its own right. Her work has been exhibited at a number of institutions, including Mucem (Marseille); the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid); Z33 (Hasselt); the Centre Pompidou, the Palais de Tokyo and the Institute of Islamic Cultures (Paris) and Bauhaus Dessau (Dessau). 


In partnership with

logo Galerie Polaris
Galerie Polaris

Bernard Utudjian has been running Polaris Gallery since 1990, on rue Saint-Claude, in Paris, before moving to the current space at 15 rue des Arquebusiers. Since the early years on, the gallery has always focused on presenting emerging artists. Real platform and revelator of talent, it is thus that Polaris gallery realized the first exhibitions of artists of international recognition today like Yto Barrada, Sara Ouhaddou, Speedy Graphito or Marcos Carrasquer... With sharing and meeting as his leitmotiv, Bernard Utudjian welcomes in his gallery multidisciplinary artists that the notion of commitment to creation unites.  Polaris Gallery embodies an experience of more than 30 years in perpetual evolution, which best embraces the evolution of contemporary art.


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