Traffic began building on these roads about two years ago. Civil unrest triggered a social movement that called for reformations in the constitution. Some people call the movement The Arab Spring. Here, it’s more often referred to as The Democratic Spring. I was given the opportunity to travel the roads of Morocco as a part of a legislative fellows program wherein nonprofit professionals from Chicago meet professionals from NGOs in its sister city, Casablanca.
Like any big city, Casablanca is on the move. When I first arrived I felt like I had to hit the ground running, and faster than usual to keep up with its pace. The geographic bridge between Europe and Subsaharan Africa, globalism and multiculturalism define Moroccan society. Walking the streets, I overhear conversations between residents that flow from French to Arabic and sometimes English with ease. I see women in traditional hajibs and kaftans check their cell phones for messages, and a stylish young man light a cigarette as he leans against a centuries-old wall. It’s easy to see how the country earned its nickname, the global crossroads.
Morocco is also a country of aesthetic inspiration. Maybe it was the African sun, but colors seemed a lot bolder to me. I know the pinks are that pink because it helps deflect the heat out of the building. The blues are common, though I’m sure the color didn’t have the same functionality. Whether it was a farm, personal home, or holy institution, a lot of detail was put into the SPACE itself. And it did not go unnoticed. I was really drawn to windows, doors and tile work. As I walked through alleys, museums, ancient ruins, and mosques, I reveled in the detail so much that I had to capture it. Here are some of the images I observed during my time in vibrant, enchanting Morocco:
In addition to being a member of the staff at Community Media Workshop, Marissa Wasseluk is an active blogger, digital communicator, workshop presenter, food eater and music listener. Connect with her online here or here, at her e-newsletter training this spring, or at Making Media Connections this summer.