Morocco

Some of the best times of my life took place in Morocco.

I was there for 6 months as a hippy at the end of the 1960s, and then as a contracted worker for another six months in the mid 1980s. On both occasions I was fortunate enough to visit and stay for a while in many different places right across the country: And the experiences were vividly memorable. It is still a place of wonder for me.

So I was interested to come across an article about Hassan Hajjaj, a Moroccan visual artist, and his new show in Paris.

Carte Blanch a Hassan Hajjaj is truly immersive. Bags of couscous cover benches at the entrance like cushions, street signs are used as tables, and cans are used as light fixtures. However, the focus is on Hajjaj as a photographer,  In the 1990s, Hajjaj was an assistant to stylist … for a photo shoot set in Marrakesh. He expressed his frustration at seeing Morocco being treated … as merely a backdrop for the shoot. He decided to plan an imaginary fashion shoot to celebrate Morocco and its people. Veiled women are dressed in djellabias, caftans, animal prints, and counterfeit brand logo styled to resemble traditional motifs. These audacious women are in poses typical of those in fashion magazines, offering a whimsical reflection on the image of Muslim women in Anglo-European societies, as well as Eurocentric codes of beauty.”

Here are a couple of my favourites:

 

Neither of these images are recognizable as artifacts of the time I spent there, but they are evocative of something (in colour and form) and I like them very much.

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