Following all the political issues in North Africa, I have often been asked to explain how Morocco avoided the wave of terror in the region.

And to be honest, I had never been able to answer the question. Some semblance of an answer hit me recently, when I went back to my hometown Casablanca for a couple of days. It was all around me. It was as clear as water. It was even spray-painted, all around the walls of the city.

It’s the key to building any sustainable society.

It was culture. It was art. It was theatre. It was music. And most importantly, it was freedom of speech. The answer was that simple.

I took this opportunity to visit and document the Abattoir of Casablanca, which has been developed into a space for art, culture and self-expression.

The youth that I met were full of inspiration. Their message was loud and clear: behind every stable and healthy society, there are creative people and a strong civil society, able to express themselves freely without any fears or boundaries.