Date
Volume 23, Number 2
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In the summer of 1980, a group of SVA students, faculty and staff flew to Morocco for the College’s first international program: a six-week stay at the American School in Tangier, where participants worked on their art and photography, studied Islamic history and French, and took writing workshops with influential expatriate author Paul Bowles (The Sheltering Sky). Over the course of the trip, the SVA group experienced both the country’s widespread observance of Ramadan—a month in the Islamic calendar marked with daily dawn-to-dusk fasting—and an imported Fourth of July, celebrated, as an article in SVA’s administrative newsletter, Memoranda, reported, with “volleyball and baseball, cool beer, barbecued chicken, apple pie and ice cream.”

“My memories are unforgettable,” says Keith Goldstein (BFA 1981 Photography), a photographer and editor who was among the students who took part in the program. “Tangier was the perfect place to photograph—nothing but intense light and shadow.” Two of the many photos he took during his time in Morocco—Tea, Fes and Fish Monger, Tangier—are reproduced above. “We traveled by bus to Meknes, Volubilis”—a UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site—“and Fes,” he says. “A few of us, every now and then, would hire a car to take us to Asilah, a small, tranquil town on the Atlantic. The beach was always deserted and seemed endless. . . . The trip was my first time outside of the U.S., and I just wanted to keep going.”

Thanks to the initial trip’s success, the College ran the Morocco program again for the next three years, attracting such distinguished faculty as painter Brice Marden and photographer (and future SVA Masters Series laureate) Mary Ellen Mark. And in 1981, SVA introduced its second overseas offering: a series of filmmaking workshops in Ireland, taught by cinematographer Andrew Laszlo (The Warriors), directors Walter Hill (48 Hrs.) and Robert Wise (West Side Story), and screenwriter Ernest Lehman (North by Northwest). Today, through SVA Arts Abroad, the College offers a number of international programs for students as well as the general public, to such countries as Bali, China, Cuba, France, Italy and Spain. For more information, visit artsabroad.sva.edu. [Greg Herbowy]

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