On search of oriental mystique
One day in Marrakech. A day’s time trying to understand and photograph the city. This works best on foot. And so I set out to find the hidden or lost mysticism of this historical name.
There is a lot of promise in the name of Marrakech. Much oriental mystique, bazaars, souks, narrow streets, spices, smells and exoticism. With so much cliché presented the city can actually only lose. So I screw down my bias and find a Marrakech, which can certainly come up with charming contrasts. Surrounded by a new, sprawling and modern city, the core, the medina, forms the pulsating heart. Countless palaces, mosques and gardens complete the cityscape.
The Berber origin is unmistakable. Everywhere you will find traditional robes. Substituted with Muslim and Western clothing results in a colorful mix. I have often wondered about the contrast of lightly dressed Western cyclists and Muslim robes. Here it is not different.
The medina is inevitably the magnet for the photographer. And partly there is also the mysticism of bygone days. You should respect the desire of many Moroccans not to be photographed. So I try to put my pictures of people in the context of the environment. Not compromising, rather belonging. Of course, the images of piled spices should not be missing, but this is not my focus.
The light makes the difference in the medina. Shadows, harsh contrasts and rays of light create an overall picture that enhances the photographic value of this city.
And so, at the end of the day, there are a series of exposures in my camera worth a release. Of course, the visit is rounded off with a visit to the House of Photography. On the exhibited pictures from the early 20th century shows the true class of the mystical Marrakech. Beams of light cut through swirling dust, portraits of Berbers, the cityscape at the turn of the century. The mystical view is more than saturated when you visit the museum.
Djemaa el Fna
An absolute must, of course, is the visit to Djemaa el Fna. In the evening you will find jugglers, showmen and artists. A huge oriental fair covered by a misty cloud of the nearby kitchens. Surrounded by historic buildings, mostly restaurants, this market is a unique spectacle. In Arabic Djemma el Fna is called “assembly of the dead” and this name does not match to the place.
And so there is still a piece of final mysticism in this tradition loaded and worth visiting city in front of the summits of the High Atlas. Follow me to the gallery for a day Marrakech.