Hassan Hajjaj, currently showing at Somerset House has done a lot to create a hub for the creative community in Marrakech. I visited his atelier and ‘home’ installation on Rue De Yugoslavie, Gueliz. This is an apartment and creative space housing a gallery and lounge for guests – everything is for sale.
Whilst I didn’t bump into Hassan himself (although I hope to interview him when he’s back from his tour) I did have the pleasure to meet one of his friends Meriem, who has her own practice in the studio space.
I was struck by the big hearted nature of this young Moroccan lady who is inspired to tell photographic stories about the hurt she feels inside for the impoverished elderly and abandoned children who can be found in the streets asking for money and food. ‘I ask myself – what if it was my Mum’ she said.
I talked to Meriem a bit more about her work in the studio, over a cup of mint tea and piece of pear and apple cake. It is her first interview to camera in English and I think she did pretty well!
I hope to work with Meriem on a project for a local Children’s charity, if the founder is accepting. Her biggest hurdle is finding good quality printers here who can handle large scale photographs – if any locals have a recommendation, let me know!
Listen to Meriem talking about her work here…