The Shore to Shore Project

The Shore to Shore Project is an ongoing exploration of life, the senses, faith and the environment through a series of activities in England and Morocco. It provides space, time and support for young people and those who work with them in both countries, giving opportunities for encounter, debate and working together. The project is unusual in having a double focus on 17th century and modern times. These are both times when the countries had very active trade links – in the 17th century these included the import of British slaves to the Barbary Coast, as well as spices to Britain. Many traditional crafts and social networks that have been lost in Britain, but were active there in the 17th century, are still active in Morocco. As the 17th century is also the time of Shakespeare, we also make many new connections through the literature of the age, such as through the creation of our Anglo Moroccan Shakespeare Garden in Marrakech.

Each year the Shore to Shore Project culminates in a festival where artists, musicians, dancers, actors, gardeners, cooks, photographers, puppeteers and other specialists from the UK and Morocco join together in Essaouira and Marrakech to put on workshops for Moroccan young people and professionals. These workshops enable young people to explore links between the UK and Morocco for themselves and to try their hand at some of the many traditional arts and crafts which were active in Britain during the 17th century but have since been lost, yet are still active and thriving in Morocco today.

During the festival Moroccan students, and professionals perform traditional music, dance and drama for local people and for Shore to Shore’s UK volunteers, who reciprocate with their own performances of traditional 17th century English equivalents. Particularly moving are the performances where early music group Passamezzo harmonise their traditional English psalms with the dulcet tones of the Sufi Ensemble Mogador. A highlight of the festival is the parade in which, bedecked in traditional dress, REEP volunteers join forces with local townspeople to dance, sing and play their way through the streets.

REEP’s concern for the environment has meant that gardening and horticulture has become a significant part of the Shore to Shore project. REEP created 3 gardens in Morocco as part of the 2014 Shore to Shore Festival. You can read more about these gardens here.

If you are interested in being involved with our work in Morocco, either through a school or personally, please contact us.

REEP, The Chapter House, Stoneleigh Abbey, Kenilworth, Warks, CV8 2LF.T:+44 (0) 7766 565470E:director@reepinfo.orgRegistered Charity No. 1000998 (Friends of the Centre)
Design by Neon Forest© REEP 2012