This work is a collaboration between Alex Schmidt (sound, interviews), Sonia Hamza (still photography) and Catherine Wilson (still photography and photo composites). Learn more about each of them: alexandraschmidt.com/ soniahamza.com/ catwilson.net
The piece takes as its inspiration the patterns in Moroccan artisan life: patterns among the shared experiences of artisans, patterns in daily work life, and patterns in sound. It reflects the rewards of patience to be found in repetitive work as well as the possible end of that type of work. Moroccan Gnawa rhythms and their repetitive nature inspired the piece's musicality.

Created and exhibited during the Culture Vultures AiR Artist's Residency Program in 2014 in Sefrou and Fes, Morocco.

 

TRANSLATION

0:31 -- Khadija Hallemi (embroidery)
Nobody obligated me to do this. I love everything which is handmade.

0:46 -- Rashid Gardhani (leather)
When I’m not working, I feel very bored. The more tired I am in my work, the more excited I get.

1:01 -- Abess Marakshi (wood)
If I am sick, I can’t work. Then I would be at home. But when things get better, we can go back to work, then everything is okay.

1:12 -- Mohammed Bin Jbara (copper)
I don’t want to leave. [my work]

1:28 -- Rashid Gardhani (leather)
I would like to have my own workshop and have a permanent, decent income. Having my own workshop. You understand?

1:49 -- Abderrahim Edjemi (copper)
My dream is to have my own workshop so I can do whatever I like in it, so that I can work for myself.

2:15 -- Abderrahim Edjemi (copper)
The artisan’s future is very weak. The artisan who is working with his hands is just earning income for a day. So what he’s getting is just sufficient for one day. So it’s not really a bright future.

3:02 -- Khadija Hallemi (embroidery)
The Moroccan craftsman lacks one important thing, which is literacy. //
If he were literate, he could have succeeded more than now because you can see that he is able to make something that is very precise and delicate that no one else can make. //
As we see, the crafts now is related to internet. And many other things that artisans should deal with. But artisans can’t do that because they are illiterate, it is impossible.

3:48 -- Mohammed Bin Jbara (copper)
It’s dying. //
Art and quality are getting lower. The state does not help. //
People tell me if you die, everything will perish. //

4:44 -- Khadija Mujaeed (copper)
I feel proud of myself because I’m working for myself. Yes that’s right.

5:07 -- Abkarim El-Jai (slippers)
I taught a generation. 10 people and 1 orphan, he stayed in my house for 9 years, with 6 other girls, after his father and mother died. I was providing for them schooling, food, I was taking care of them. I learned knowledge and I am passing along knowledge to my children. Also my grandchildren are about 15. //
Now 1 of my grandchildren is studying in Mexico. Some in Belgium, some in France. Who are those children? Where do they come from? They don’t come from a millionaire. //
They come from a slipper maker.