Touria El-Glaoui Founds 1-54 to Give Contemporary African Art a Voice

Touria El-Glaoui is the founder of 1-54, the first leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora. Touria takes us a journey from her Moroccan heritage to a career in finance in the United States, to rediscovering the vibrant African art world.

Touria El-Glaoui Founds 1-54

In creating 1-54, Touria El-Glaoui ’s mission is to give contemporary African art the platform and voice it deserves. She talks about its creation, navigating early obstacles, and important decisions that set 1-54 up for success. 1-54 created a market that wasn’t present at its launch in 2013.

Touria gives advice for emerging African artists and 1-54’s role in inspiring the next generation. She talks about while having a good partner could be helpful, it’s important to know you can do things as an independent woman.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • 00:00-3:54: The origins and growth of 1-54
  • 04:28-7:51: What 1-54 is about and creating a market that wasn’t yet there
  • 7:51- 12:33 Touria’s background, being raised as the daughter of two creative people and granddaughter of a Pasha of Marrakesh
  • 12:34-15:56: Creating standards for 1-54 and pushing back against expected roles
  • 15:57-20:55: Touria’s past career in finance in the United States, and returning to Morrocco as a repatriated African selling infrastructure
  • 20:56-22:50: Discovering creativity on the African continent not seen elsewhere
  • 22:51-24:16: Working on an ongoing project of her father’s work and how it informed the creation of 1-54
  • 24:17-26:35: Our responsibility as African entrepreneurs and providing a platform for its voices
  • 26:36-33:40: Overcoming some sponsorship and investment obstacles to grow the brand
  • 33:40-35:21: How having great advisors with business experience to guide at the beginning helped her make smart brand choices
  • 35:22-37:41: Learning to work and negotiate with vendors
  • 37:42-41:02: Earning accolades in Forbes and how to approach media interest
  • 41:03-47:18: Touria’s advice for young and emerging artists; using 1-54 as a goal to shoot for
  • 47:19-51:44: Fielding questions about family and partnerships, but knowing you can do things independently
  • 51:56-53:38: Correct pronunciation of Touria
  • 53:38-55:42: Where to connect with Touria and 1-54

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