I find Casablanca, Morocco’s commercial hub and biggest city, hard to like. It’s a big, grubby urban metropolis. However, if you look hard enough and lift your head above street level, it has Art Deco features to rival Miami or Berlin, Art Nouveau swirls reminiscent of Vienna or Glasgow and – of course – all with an Andalusian twist. I was asked by Virgin Australia Voyeur Magazine to summarise the charm of Art Deco Casablanca in an article about global Art Deco. Here is a screenshot of the piece. The article can be viewed on Magzter (registration required).
Photo: Musée Mohammed VI d’Art Moderne et Contemporain
After a critically-acclaimed run in Paris, the Medieval Morocco exhibition, which was part of the Parisian Moroccan Autumn, comes to Rabat. The exhibition features work spanning 5 centuries from when the Moorish influence was at its greatest. The artefacts have been assembled from the Iberian Peninsula as well as North and West Africa.
The exhibition is now on and runs until 1 June. If you are in Morocco over the next months, it’s not to be missed! Read my review here.
The origins of Morocco’s traditions in jewellery and silversmithing are a reflection of the country’s position along the routes of the camel trains and its historical cultural diversity. To learn about the Berber silver jewellery of Morocco, the wedding jewellery traditions, the significance of the fibula or the ancient craft of Jewish artisans passed through the generations, read my article for Travel Exploration here.
Riad Yima Marrakech
Recycling à la marocaine
Very little is wasted in Morocco. Where many people can only afford the bare essentials, it’s important to make every dirham count. Completely ignorant of any potential disasters of mistaken identity, cleaning products are regularly sold in plastic drinks bottles. Olive oil is sold handily decanted into half or one litre water bottles.
Organised recycling is not yet common in Morocco. However, it happens on an informal level.
Read more of my second post, about recycling, upcycling and Marrak’chic on Drops of Elixir…
Essaouira port skala
“Do you know anyone who sells tiles?” I asked our new-found companion in Essaouira. That was probably not the most common procurement question he was asked by European tourists. With his eyes – as my friend Susan said – “at quarter to three”, he apparently frequently enjoyed one of Morocco’s more common exports and seemed to make his living as a tourist leech.