Sunday, March 11, 2012

Female Photography in Fez - a Celebration

Exhibition organiser Omar Chennafi pays tribute to Zubida, one of the participants
The Women's Mirror exhibition opening yesterday in Fez was a great success. More than 200 people attended and many stayed on for the Women's Mirror concert.

Late yesterday afternoon, crowds began flocking to the opening of the Women's Mirror exhibition, at the Arabic Language Institute Fes (ALIF) Riad in Batha. They had come to see the results of an ambitious project done by the ALIF-ALC Photography Club, where 22 women around the Fez region were given disposable cameras and recorded aspects of their lives.

Picture: Omar Chennafi

The results were a credit to the previously untrained female photographers and offered an insight into their living situations and their perceptions of society around them. It is on show daily from 3-5 PM until March 24.

Participant Asmaa Elalaoui Hachimi with her work

Participant Nina Mohammed Galbert, with her daughters and work, on right

Omar Chennafi, left, and Gigi Kay, director of the American Fondouk with her work

Sponsored by the American Language Center, Fez and the brainchild of Photography Club convener Omar Chennafi, the Women's Mirror project had been several months in the making. The aim is to give women living in rural and urban areas the opportunity to express themselves through the universal medium of photography - regardless of their level of education.

Part of the display at the Women's Mirror exhibition

The ALIF-ALC Photography Club members selected the participants, showed them how to use the cameras, collected them at the end and were responsible for the display.

Members of the ALIF-ALC Photography Club

Last night's opening was attended by many of the women photographers and their families, Photo Club members, dignitaries and local residents, as well as staff and the director of the American Language Center.

Kenza Alaoui checks out the wall where viewers can write comments about the exhibition
One of the comments on the writing wall

It was followed by an enjoyable concert from American singer/songwriter and Peace Corps volunteer Socorra Camposanto and Fez oud player Hosna el Hadi. After each performing a set, they joined together in a rousing rendition of Love is a Battlefield.

Hosna el Hadi gave a lyrical set on the oud
American singer/songwriter Socorra Camposanto sang her own compositions

Given the success of last night's event, more exhibitions and concerts are being planned for the ALIF Riad, so keep an eye out for news of them in future.

It is likely that the Women's Mirror exhibition will travel to some other American Language Centers around Morocco.

When: Daily until March 24 from 3-5pm.
Where: ALIF Riad, 6 Derb Drissi, Batha, Fez Medina
Info: or 0659661502

Story and photographs: Suzanna Clarke


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