Saturday, January 08, 2011

Photographs of Fez in the 1920s

Fez photographer, Gérard Chemit, presents an exhibition of photographs of Fez in the 1920s that opens at 18h30 on Friday 14 January at the Institut Francais exhibition hall in Gueliz, Marrakech.

These are not, of course, Gerard's own photographs (he's too young for that!). But there's an interesting story behind them. The exhibition is called 'Pierre du Maroc', or 'Pierre of Morocco' and Pierre Déjardins was the photographer.

"Pierre Déjardins was my great-uncle," explains Gérard. "He was a photographer in Fez in the 1920s. He was a true chronicler of everyday life in Fez, and was also in contact with the big names of the day, people like Lyautey (the French Resident General), Abd el Krim el Khettabi and Moulay Youssef."

"The family back in France gave him the nickname Pierre of Morocco", continues Gerard, "and for me as a child, he was the stuff of heroes from the novels of writers like Stevenson, Conrad or Melville. We've recently published a book of the photos called On l'appelait Pierre du Maroc but it's been so successful that it's currently sold out."

Gérard at work

We hope the exhibition will come to Fez!

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