A REFLECTIVE WALK THROUGH MARRAKESH
Power has a double component: it is a person’s ability to do something; or the ability to direct or influence the behavior of others.
The double component can also be seen under its single and plural aspects: single, a person’s own capacity, involving themselves only; or plural, a capacity that involves others.
A powerful person can be, for example, someone strong enough to spend long stretches of time alone, work long hours without the reassurance of proportional pay, or satisfy family needs through wits and charisma.
This photo essay explores my interpretation of the two aspects of power as seen during my stay in Marrakesh, Morocco, where I spent few days walking around the city, getting lost in the alleys, exploring the souks (markets), spending times with locals, and my personal perception of a multifaceted city with its multifaceted people.
Life begins early in Marrakech. The main square, Jemaa el-Fnaa, reflects the rhythm of the city. At 8am I saw men, as well as teenagers, exhibiting their merchandise in a dimly lit souk. I had mint tea and a pastry in quiet coffee shops with a modern look, mostly for tourists during the day. The many patios overlook the open space of the square where the orange juice stands, dozen all identical to one another, were already serving freshly squeezed drinks. Roaming locals--women offering henna, children selling tissues, men offering photos with chained monkeys-- started to dot the scene along with the cabs, while everybody dodged the street cleaning crews.
‘Chi dorme non piglia pesci.’ We say in Italy, translated: ‘Those who sleep don’t catch any fish.’
After five days in Marrakech, I learned that time and planning is relative. I waited one hour for a coach to depart or someone to arrive for a meeting. And that was no big deal. But although I saw very few tourists around early in the morning, locals didn’t wait for them to start working.