Scènes et Types

In the spring of 2011 I spent three and a half months in Morocco working with writer Sarah Dohrmann on a collaborative project about prostitution and the marginalization of women.

While in Morocco I began to work with collage, cutting up the photographs I was making and piecing them back together, layering and juxtaposing the images.  I was spending time with and photographing women who were pushed to the edges of society – single mothers, divorcées, prostitutes.  Many of these women did not feel safe having their faces photographed - some didn’t feel safe being photographed at all - but it was important for them to talk about their experiences.  I began to use the collages as a way to protect the women’s identities (when necessary) while expressing what I understood about their lives and examining my own perceptions and experiences in the process.

Having worked for several years on long-term projects addressing the complicated and layered issues around prostitution, I had become frustrated with the limitations of straightforward documentary work or reportage.  I felt compelled to take a more conceptual approach to exploring ideas around representation and perception, marginalization, sexuality, the idealization and/or demonization of women’s bodies and, specifically within the context of my work in Morocco, the legacy of colonization and the impact of Orientalist representations of North African women historically and currently. My goal with this work is to not only explore some of the perceptions and realities of women’s lives in Morocco, but to raise questions about the documentary process itself and the impact of visual imagery/representation on women’s relationships with power, choice and identity.

I titled this work Scènes et Types in reference to the colonial Orientalist postcards made primarily by French photographers in the early 1900’s.  These postcards (often in series called Scènes et Types) featured staged portraits of nude or semi-nude North African women in highly exoticized postures, costumes and settings.  It is documented that the models for these photographs were almost always prostitutes.

My collage work is comprised of photographs I made in Morocco in the spring of 2011.

This post has 284 notes.
  1. doorkeeperoftheheart reblogged this from blindparastish
  2. blindparastish reblogged this from roxygen
  3. sabaahelkhair reblogged this from monsandroses
  4. sto--p reblogged this from maghrabiyya
  5. steadyroller reblogged this from justleaveitalonealready
  6. hwaemelec reblogged this from maghrabiyya
  7. illuminationexodus reblogged this from justleaveitalonealready
  8. justleaveitalonealready reblogged this from roxygen and added:
    these are beautifully badass and eloquent and powerful and hell yes decolonialist feminist art for the win
  9. babyfemmmeshark reblogged this from maghrabiyya
  10. tunisianprincess reblogged this from cavahamdoullah
  11. bloodpactscout reblogged this from roxygen
  12. theurbanpanda reblogged this from cavahamdoullah
  13. cavahamdoullah reblogged this from maghrabiyya
  14. maghrabiyya reblogged this from kawrage and added:
    I love it!
  15. thisspinsterlife reblogged this from badassmuslimahs
  16. previouslyhttpcolonslashslashwww reblogged this from badassmuslimahs