Nestled in the narrow alleyways of the Medina of Marrakech, just a walk from the souks of the Jemma El-Fna is tucked the Maison de la Photographie Marrakech. You would have completely missed it if you weren’t looking for it. But of course, being a photographer I had sought it out. We have been in Marrakech for a few days now and I have adjusted to the insane hustle and bustle of the Medina. You can definitely say I experienced culture shock during my first visit to Jemma El-Fna. A big part of this was my Canadian niceties. I was too nice to not let the shop keepers take my hand and guide me into their shop.
When you enter the Maison De La Photographie that’s exactly what it is. I beautiful riad hidden in the rough, textured alleys of the Medina. You are met with the bright white walls that proudly hang photographs by Moroccans, past and present. Like most traditional riads, it has a small interior courtyard that is open to the sky. I absolutely love that you’re inside, yet outside at the same time. We move from floor to floor admiring the works of art. Sitting on the balconies taking it in and resting during the 40 C heat. My favourites are the historic images of Morocco from the early 1900’s. Portraits of elders, traditional homes and some of the very places I have already visited in their younger states.
They have a small section that is made to be dark that lures me in via curiosity. Hanging on the wall are very small square images. The gallery has illuminated them from behind which gives them an eerie yet life-like quality. I am struck by every image. I am lucky enough to be in this country experiencing their culture but for me, the added experience of a photography gallery exhibiting the history of Moroccan photography completely wins me over.
Everything about Morrocan culture moves me. I love their buildings with stunning geometric tiling, the burst of vibrant flowers streetside, the kindness of their locals and the warm 30 C nights, their food and most importantly their delicious sugar packed mint tea which I drink daily while I’m there.
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