Three Artists Three Cities’ (TATC) is a collaboration between Benjamin Benrakad, Mohammed Ali and Martin Travers. Professional artists from very different backgrounds but all of whom work in field of visual arts, specifically aerosol art, murals and community arts. All dedicated to using art to create positive changes at a community level.
These artists who have worked together in the recent past (with great positive result) will travelled to three different cities – Amsterdam, Casablanca and Birmingham – to engage with other artists, community workers and local residents through workshops, discussions and actual aerosol art/mural paintings in a lasting exchange of ideas and knowledge.
Working in some of the poorest and most marginalized neighborhoods in these cities, the artists along with the local community, explored among other things ideas relating to identity and its importance in positive self determination and empowerment for both the individual and the community.
In June 2011, aerosol artist Mohammed Ali, who was involved in an artist-in-residence program of the Liteside Festival, visited Amsterdam. He gave several workshops for different audiences and painted different walls. During his period of ten days in Amsterdam he met and collaborated with two Amsterdam based artists; Martin Travers and Benjamin Benrakad. Martin is a muralist and community artist originally from London and Benjamin a Dutch street artist. In Amsterdam, Mohammed Ali learned more about the social-cultural context of different areas of the city, such as Nieuw-West (New West) and Noord (North).
In Nieuw-West Mohammed Ali met two artists, Martin Travers, the community artist from London (Irish background), and the Dutch Moroccan street artist Benjamin Benrakad. Together they collaborated during a wall painting in Amsterdam Nieuw-West (Jan Vethstraat). The core of this collaboration was based on a local outcome of an international artistic concept in one of the less developed areas of Amsterdam. After the three artists succeeded they agreed on further collaboration in different parts of the world. Although the artists did not share the same style, use of material, design development process and technique they managed to express themselves as a team based on the value and message of wall paintings in less developed areas. The aim is to continue the process of working together on different levels. Soul City Arts worked with Foundation DW-RS Productions to incorporate the three artists in an international exchange program in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Morocco in 2012.