Abdelaziz Zerrou, laureate of the HYam Prize.

In Arab, Atlasouna—the title of Abdelaziz Zerrou’s work—means “our Atlas.” A Titan of Greek mythology condemned by Zeus to carry the celestial vault, whose supporting columns are situated in the straight of Gibraltar, Atlas also marked the geography and the history of Maghreb. As the legend goes, Atlas bestowed his name to a cosmic mountain, extending from Agadir to Tunis. Greece and Morocco are linked by numerous similarities : past, present, and future.

Atlasouna, projet sur la place Makariou

Cradles of great civilizations with neighboring geographies, these two countries that each had to win their independence seem to pursue juxtaposed destinies. Today, are they not confronted with the ongoing issue of the borders of immigration? When Albert Camus referenced the Mediterranean and this “nationalism of the sun,“ which scrambled boundaries and limits at every level, did he not imagine an alternative path by which to circulate more peaceably? It’s from this Camus-like reflection that Abdelaziz Zerrou highlights “exiting the ranks.“

His sculpture/installation, which represents Mount Toubkal, the highest point of the Atlas Mountains, typically so faraway-seeming, becomes a familiar element both visually and sonorously. Teleported in a realist manner onto the public square, a space that belongs to everyone and to no one, Atlasouna is an aesthetic response that reveals a new sense of proximity and opens up a road less traveled. As though, under the Mediterranean sun, the land bound by history and the politics of the skies no longer are subject to demarcated lines.


Following our first edition dedicated to the Greek-cypriot scene, we chose to highlight the young moroccan art scene and have made a point of focusing on the mediterranean part thanks to three high points in Greece and in Paris.

The HYam association has invited eight artists younger than 36 years old to take part in the HYam Prize and to submit a file to an international committee in charge of electing the laureate. This one will have the opportunity to to install a piece of art in the Hydra public space before a one month residency on the island.

During his/her stay, the laureate will be in a position to set up a new project which could be inspired by the specific character of Hydra.

Historically in constant dialogue with France, Morocco is one of the greatest embodiments of the mediterranean richness. This country which is undergoing a great evolution whether it be by its government, its economy or its culture, builds up a bridge between the North and the South. It is a land that will allow the coexistence of different cultures where the creation is diverse and blooming.

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The schedule

  • May 2018 Announcement of the laureate, Artcurial, Paris

The committee meeting in Paris and the announcement of the HYam Prize recipient

  •   July 2018, Installation, Hydra, Greece

The two months exhibition of the laureate’s piece of art installed in the Hydra public space with the support of the HYam association.

  • September 2018, Residency, Hydra, Greece

The one month residency with the purpose of setting up a new project which could be inspired by the character and the history of the island

  • December 2018, Round table, Artcurial, Paris

The laureate will get the opportunity to present his/her work and Hydra project at  a round table having to do with the Moroccan contemporary art scene.

The committee

Chaired by François Tajan, co-president of Artcurial and partner of HYam, the committee 2018 is composed of :

  • Xenia Geroulanou, director at Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery, Paris,
  • Anaël Pigeat, editor in chief, Art Press magazine,
  • Philippe Riss-Schmidt, curator and founder of Hyperpavilion (Venice biennale 2017),
  • Bérénice Saliou, artistic director of the ICI (Institute of Islam Cultures),
  • Emmanuel Saulnier, artist and professor at the Fine Art School of Paris,
  • Meyem Sebti, editorial director and managing editor, Diptyk Magazine, partner of the event,
  • Alexis Veroucas, artist and collector,