Selections from a series of 60-80 photographs throughout Morocco in 1995 and 1998.
For me, the intensity of Morocco reverberated in the power and presence of the implicit, the invisible, and the unspoken, in the subtle spaces between modern and traditional worlds, spiritual and physical realms, or urban and desert landscapes. In Morocco I sensed that what separates the visible and invisible realms is as permeable as breath.
Shrines and tombs of saints (Muslim and Jewish) are found all over Morocco, some venerated by both religions. No matter how remote, their presence seemed central, sanctifying the land.
In 1998 I traveled with Moroccan-born Israeli anthropologist, Nissim Krispil, to Berber villages lining the Draa valley, and further east to the Tafilalt. In these pre-Saharan regions, we explored the abandoned homes and synagogues of the old mellahs, some re-inhabited, others empty and silent. With untarnished memories, village elders recalled details of former community life, the family names and trades of former Jewish neighbors from almost half a century before, recounting friendship, respect, and interdependency. These elders were the guardians of Jewish history, and their grandchildren would often gather and listen with us. Homage was paid to a way of life long over, yet brought present again as each family was remembered, each name mentioned.
Sifting through my photographs more than twenty years later I reflect on ruins and the renovations, the passing of time and guardianship into the present, the breaking of bread and the permeability of peace, the timeless hope for a good life.
©Rose-Lynn Fisher 1995-2020