A Watcher in Marrakesh

Monochromatic tan labyrinths strewn with stalls, sellers, and beggers clutter the neighbourhoods of Morocco's Marrakesh region. Unending strings of brazen young men quiz "where you from?" from across the way, charming tourists into buying something from a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend. Mopeds buzz past brimming crowds on even the narrowist of streets and no ones bats an eye. The stench of rotten death slowly supplants engine fumes and cigarette smoke, as stores lined with crate-stuffed chickens mark the onset of local food markets. A lucky turn away down a narrow avenue breaks into immediate relief, where calm, deserted paths dotted with smiling children disturbs the cataclysmic dissonance that envelopes every moment.


Four muslim men in Morocco sitting by a beach in Essaouira

Essaouira, a coastal town in Marrakesh Region


Two young men walking down a street in Marrakesh, Morocco

A smiling muslim man walks past a woman in hijab in Marrakesh, Morocco

Two young men on mopeds lean back in Marrakesh, Morocco

Shadow is cast over a truck carrying crates of injured chickens in Marrakesh, Morocco

A young man drives a moped while looking at his phone in Marrakesh, Morocco

A mother in hijab comforts a crying boy on a market street in Marrakesh, Morocco

A man in traditional muslim clothes drives past two western tourist women on a moped in Marrakesh, Morocco

A muslim woman in a burka walks past a cart in Marrakesh, Morocco

An overload of misogynistic jokes, homophobia, and manly back pats, disabled beggers being ignored and injured street animals being kicked away, ultimately underscores a hyper-masculine and ostensibly unempathetic culture that directly challenges my own views. Yet, I cannot deny the safe, welcoming, friendly attitudes I felt from strangers, leaving me totally conflicted and overstimulated. Am I allowed to enjoy these warm moments? As a man with a visually Arab appearance coming from a Western upbringing, how biased is my experience? Would I be complicit by not calling out what I percieve as discrimination, or would I be rude to combat social norms that I have little understanding of? I think to how these same inequalities are handled in the UK. Homelessness, income inequality, animal cruelty, sexism, and homophobia, still unquestionably persist, but almost always now happen behind closed doors. Maybe I am too quick to contrast.



A man in traditional muslim clothing walks past a palace mosque in Marrakesh, Morocco

A man smokes at his textile market stall next to a sleeping cat in Essaouira, Morocco

A man walks with his bikes through crowds in Essaouira, Morocco

A man lies asleep in an open cart on a deserted street in Essaouira, Morocco

A woman in hijab talking on a phone by a bus stop in Essaouira, Morocco

A man driving a moped and another by a market stall look at the camera in Marrakesh, Morocco

A man scratches his eye while waiting on a moped on a food street in Marrakesh, Morocco

Two men walking together eye a market stall in Marrakesh, Morocco

Two men carrying objects walk past each other in Marrakesh, Morocco

A man and his small daughter ride a moped through a busy street in Marrakesh, Morocco

You could drown in all the questions and contradictions that Marrakesh poses. However, the incongruity of behaviour with the times, and the philosophical and sometimes literal battle of anachronisms and conflicting ideas that is subsequently presented, is undeniably fascinating. In the end, my camera offers me reprieve from internal strife as I slip into an observer, a documenter, neither here nor there, simply watching and endulging without judgement or introspection∎


Two men relaxing by the sea in Essaouira, Morocco

A moped drives extremely close to the camera in Marrakesh, Morocco

A man points in front of a donkey carrying materials in Marrakesh, Morocco

A man leans down to pick something off the ground while on a moped in Marrakesh, Morocco

A man and woman have an argument by a postcard stall in Marrakesh, Morocco

A market seller sits down in Marrakesh, Morocco

A man winces as he cycles past graffiti in Marrakesh, Morocco

A man closes his eyes while driving a moped through a street in Marrakesh, Morocco

A woman in hijab with a bag under arm wallks confidently up to a market street in Marrakesh, Morocco