Tag Archives: Morocco

Alfredo De Stéfano, Carpet Sahara

Alfredo De Stéfano, Carpet Sahara

Alfredo De Stéfano

Carpet Sahara,
Sahara Desert, Morocco , 2012
From the Mis Desiertos series
Website – ADeStefano.com

Alfredo De Stéfano was born in Monclova, Coahuila, a city in the northeastern Mexican desert and has a bachelor´s degree in Communication Sciences by the Universidad Autonoma de Coahuila. He is considered one of México´s most important contemporary photographers. He has a passion for the landscape and especially the desert, an environment to which has has traveled countless times, performing art interventions in it and photographing it. His photographic series include Of places without a future (1992), Remains of paradise (1996), Replenishing emptiness (2002) and Brief chronicle of Light (2005). Since 2008 he is working in his new series Storm of light: All the deserts are my desert, which take place in different deserts from the world. His work has been exhibited internationally and are included in public and private collections in México as well as abroad.

Pictures of the Week: August 24 – August 31

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From Hurricane Isaac in the Caribbean and colorful Holi celebrations in Germany to the Paralympics in London and a tree full of goats in Morocco, TIME presents the best images of the week.

The New Islamists: Photographs by Yuri Kozyrev

Last month TIME contract photographer Yuri Kozyrev and I went to Rabat and Casablanca to report on a story about the rise of Political Islam in the countries of the Arab Spring. As with Tunisia and Egypt, free elections in Morocco have brought to power an Islamist party, the Justice and Development Party (PJD). But these, as we discovered, are not your father’s Islamists. They defy the Western stereotype of bushy-bearded, wild-eyed religious fanatics: Morocco’s Islamists are not seeking to take their country back to some ancient golden age, they are trying to figure how to bring it to the 21st century without losing its religious moorings. In this, they are similar to Islamists now heading governments in Tunis and Cairo. The pursuit and attainment of political power have forced these parties to abandon radical ideas and distance themselves from their lunatic fringes. Instead, they are moving to the political center.

Morocco has drawn tourists for centuries, and to most visitors cities like Rabat and Casablanca are a pleasant combination of the modern and the ancient. In this set of images, Yuri captures both aspects of the country.

Read more: The Converted: Has Power Tamed Islamists in the Arab Spring States?

Yuri Kozyrev is a contract photographer for TIME and was just named the 2011 Photographer of the Year in the Pictures of the Year International competition.

Visit the University of Chicago’s Renaissance Society for a Sneak Peak at Survival Techniques Artist, Yto Barrada

3.20.12_Barrada_blog.jpg

Hailing from Tangier, Yto Barrada’s work about contemporary social and political issues in Morocco is getting a lot of attention here in Chicago.

Barrada, whose work will be featured in the MoCP’s upcoming exhibition Survival Techniques, also has an exhibition currently running at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago.

Barrada’s show, Riffs, at the Renaissance Society explores the seemingly mundane aspects of the historical changes currently taking place in North Africa. Similarly, her work in Survival Techniques discusses these same political issues… but in a more satirical fashion. Using photographs, illustrations, diagrams, slogans, stories and games to comment on social and political issues in contemporary Morocco, Barrada pokes fun at the struggles the country faces in the eyes of globalization.

Riffs is on display at the Renaissance Society through April 22. Survival Techniques runs at the Museum of Contemporary Photography April 12 through July 1. Admission to both museums is free and open to the public.

About Yto Barrada
Born in France, Barrada grew up between Tangier and Paris, where she studied history and political science at the Sorbonne. After attending the International Center for Photography in New York and spending 16 years abroad, Barrada returned to Tangiers, where she continues to base her artwork on the cultural climate of the city. Recently, she had a solo exhibition at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, and also exhibited at the 2011 Venice Biennale.

Visit the University of Chicago’s Renaissance Society for a Sneak Peak at Survival Techniques Artist, Yto Barrada

3.20.12_Barrada_blog.jpg

Hailing from Tangier, Yto Barrada’s work about contemporary social and political issues in Morocco is getting a lot of attention here in Chicago.

Barrada, whose work will be featured in the MoCP’s upcoming exhibition Survival Techniques, also has an exhibition currently running at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago.

Barrada’s show, Riffs, at the Renaissance Society explores the seemingly mundane aspects of the historical changes currently taking place in North Africa. Similarly, her work in Survival Techniques discusses these same political issues… but in a more satirical fashion. Using photographs, illustrations, diagrams, slogans, stories and games to comment on social and political issues in contemporary Morocco, Barrada pokes fun at the struggles the country faces in the eyes of globalization.

Riffs is on display at the Renaissance Society through April 22. Survival Techniques runs at the Museum of Contemporary Photography April 12 through July 1. Admission to both museums is free and open to the public.

About Yto Barrada
Born in France, Barrada grew up between Tangier and Paris, where she studied history and political science at the Sorbonne. After attending the International Center for Photography in New York and spending 16 years abroad, Barrada returned to Tangiers, where she continues to base her artwork on the cultural climate of the city. Recently, she had a solo exhibition at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, and also exhibited at the 2011 Venice Biennale.

Insha’Allah: Morocco’s Changing Culture

We reached a vast field just beyond Casablanca’s limit. Dusty trails wandered toward the center, where they crisscrossed then extended further outward toward mosques, half made tenement blocks and shanty towns. The sun felt metallic hot. Opaque echos of a single prayer call grazed us with the coming breeze. More began to rise, until the many voices braided the air around us. I watched and froze the sprawling urban panorama that vibrated behind heat waves, until the voices faded away.

This past June I spent five weeks in North Africa participating in an art-research project called Beyond Digital: Morocco. As a collaborative, experimental project, each of the seven multi-disciplined participants interpreted a core research theme centered around contemporary Moroccan music and the culture it emerges from. I used this evocative aspect of the culture as a guide to explore the country’s current landscape, both environmental and social.

Morocco is a landscape at the precipice. At the far western edge of the Muslim world, it is both a world unto itself and a historic doorway between Europe, the Middle East and Africa. These varied influences have woven themselves into a unique cultural fabric, marked with sharp contrasts. Today, Western cultural trends, international investment projects and sprawling urban development jostle together with the country’s Muslim and ancient Berber cultures. To this is added the pressing undertone of Morocco’s ambivalent position within the developing Arab Spring.

My goal was to make a series of images which would capture the concurrent dynamics of this contemporary Moroccan landscape. As a foreign artist, I wanted to seek the edges of the landscape that fell away from the ways Morocco is generally represented, allowing the landscape to recount its story through the image-making process. This photographic contribution was one of several media involved in the larger project, from documentary video shorts to software design, each offering its own artistic interpretation, thus creating a multi-faceted experiment in how art and cultural research can work in tandem.

John Francis Peters is a New York based photographer and photo editor.

If You Smoke Cigarettes in Public: Prostitution in Morocco

In 2010, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University awarded the twentieth Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize to photographer Tiana Markova-Gold and writer Sarah Dohrmann to produce their project If You Smoke Cigarettes in Public, You Are a Prostitute: Women and Prostitution in Morocco. The pair spent three and a half months of this year in the country, documenting the lives of sex workers to explore the complex nature of the choices Moroccan women face.

They approached the project with the express intent to “dismantle preconceived notions of the prostitute as sexual deviant,” an idea that Markova-Gold has explored in earlier projects on her own in the Bronx and Macedonia. Dohrmann had previously lived in Morocco, where she learned Moroccan Arabic and had begun writing about her interactions with female Moroccan sex workers. Their method is collaborative and unconventional, pairing Markova-Gold’s impressionistic and occasionally inscrutable photographs with Dohrmann’s narrative and very personal literary style. With time and space, the pair was able to cultivate deep and nuanced relationships with several women, resulting in a complex and holistic story. Working in a developing Islamic country during the Arab Spring allowed the pair to explore how other issues affected the subjects of their project, such as globalization, religion, politics and migration.

A wide-ranging and challenging subject deserves such a patient and extensive approach, and the pair has recently begun to work with their material in earnest. Typically the work for the Lange-Taylor prize is not revealed until the project is finished, but Dohrmann and Markova-Gold agreed to share some of the ideas they are working on exclusively with LightBox.

Markova-Gold shot primarily with film, but also used her iPhone to provide more instant feedback and evidence of the situations she was shooting. The photographs in the series above consist of iPhone photos, processed with the ShakeItPhoto app, which she found to be the closest approximation to her film work.  As the project progressed, she found the images resonated beyond their immediate use and ultimately are relevant to the final project. They are paired with some of Dohrmann’s preliminary writing, which was written in a daily log of their time together, and focuses on one of their subjects, Khadija. The final project, slated for completion by the end of the year, will feature film and digital photography from Markova-Gold, and a long-form essay by Dohrmann.

Editor’s note: All of the Moroccan women’s names published here have been changed in the interest of protecting their safety.

Tiana Markova-Gold is a freelance documentary photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. More of her work can be seen on her web site and her blog.

Sarah Dohrmann is a Brooklyn-based writer. Her work has appeared in Bad Idea: The Anthology, Teachers & Writers Magazine, and The Iowa Review. You can read more of her work on her blog, Und You Vill Like It.

Photographer #396: Stéphane Remael

Stéphane Remael, 1971, France, is a socially engaged documentary photographer and photojournalist who also concentrates on portraiture. He was a co-founder and member of the Oeil Public Agency between 1996 and 2008. His main focus lies with the human condition, placing mankind in his environment, often those on the margins of society. He has traveled the world to cover humanistic stories from Bolivia, Georgia, China, Nepal to Morocco amongst other places. In Japan he took a close look at an ancient phenomenon called ‘evaporation’. After the financial bubble burst in the 90’s entire families made suicide pacts and other men who lost their jobs decided to disappear and continue living with a new identity. In Georgia he focused on a remote region in the country called Svaneti. In this region one woman in three is abducted with disasterous outcomes for the women. They are considered impure and have little hope for leading a normal life. His work has been published in numerous French and international newspapers and magazines as Newsweek, TIME and The Wall Street Journal. The following images come from the series The Disappeared, Kidnapped for Life and Cabanisation: What is left when you have nothing?

Website: www.stephaneremael.com