mediating morocco

words & images ann gaul 

As a photographer, student of gender theory, and one-time resident of Morocco’s Souss Valley, I’ve made a hobby in recent years of collecting postcards that feature images of women. Contemplating the Maison de la Photographie and its trove of Protectorate-era photographs that predated, mirrored, and undoubtedly inspired their contemporary (and ubiquitous) counterparts, impressed upon me how thoroughly the modern tourist’s experience of Morocco is shaped, conditioned, and colored by a particular sort of photographed image.

A glance at any collection of postcards practically anywhere in the country offers at least a handful of different images of women stacked alongside photos of camels, archways in old medinas, and piles of spices. Women and girls are a fixture of the Moroccan visual landscape produced for touristic consumption; whenever I return to Morocco I find new examples. My last trip, in March 2013, yielded five new unique images to add to the nearly forty I have collected since 2007. This is in stark contrast to the postcards on offer elsewhere in the Arab world: scouring the tourist shops of Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Egypt, I’ve found nothing that compares to the range of images of women one finds in Morocco.

read more

Member Login
Welcome, (First Name)!

Forgot? Show
Log In
Enter Member Area
My Profile Not a member? Sign up. Log Out