“I have just arrived at the World Forum of Human Rights in Marrakech. First impression: We’re bored out of our minds. There is far too much space for very little visible activity. As usual the authorities wanted to impress by being dramatically imposing and having gigantic structures.
But the ridiculously oversized tents ultimately exaggerated the feeling of empty space. The organizers managed to build a perfect metaphor for the empty shell, which is the logical result of their chaotic, opaque, and inconsistent planning for the event.
To emphasize even more the impression of the Potemkin-like village, the organizers, who certainly demonstrate a quite heightened taste for kitsch, stationed two magnificent, brand new fire trucks with gleaming bodywork like you’d see in a Hollywood movie – but never see coming to a fire in a Moroccan town.
Otherwise international delegates (at least the ones I met) have not been fooled. They were very much aware of the attempts to deceive. As an added bonus they were treated, thanks to the weather, to a demonstration of the dilapidated infrastructure of our roads: huge rain puddles blocked access to parking, mud was everywhere.
The propaganda strategy does not seem to be working very well. And that’s only fair.” — Hisham Al Miraat: daily journal of the Forum