FOTOXPLORE MOROCCO, HOW IT ALL STARTED..
Giles and I first met in 1991 when we both enrolled in a photography and design course at Richmond upon Thames college in England.
25 years later, here we are running photography tours to the High Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert in Southern Morocco. Though comprising two distinct landscapes with challenging light situations, the two are only half a day’s drive from one another and are both populated by nomadic Imazighen, enduring winter snows and desert sand storms.
The mountain Amazigh nomads graze their goats in amongst the hard dry crags of the Atlas, where the rocks are coloured pink and green by mineral deposits and where they sleep in tents made from woven camel hair.
A little further south, the Jbel Sahrho is a tortured range of twisted strata thrown up by vulcanism and geological upheaval. Here, volcanic plugs jut from ancient bassltic lava fields, and the dry, dusty winds from the desert meet the moist winds from the north and west in an infinitely changing kaleidoscope of blue and gold.
Then there is the Sahara itself, the dunes continually renewing themselves as the sand shifts with winds that only seem to rest during the magic hours of dawn and dusk.
Throughout, Imazighen eke out a living as they have done since prehistory. Their adobe architecture constructed from blocks of mud and dung, and their lives intimately connected to a landscape we have to visit carefully in 4WD vehicles.
Finally we arrive at Marrakech, ancient capital of Imazighen and still a hub for trade in spices, crafts, and carpets handwoven by Amazigh ladies (Timgharine) in all the different tribes. The main square, the oldest continuously used open air theatre, is still home to dance troupes, snake charmers and fortune tellers and is now a UNESCO world heritage site. Around it throngs the historical city, vibrant with the good humour and entrepreneurial spirit of the locals.
The itinerary will reward all levels of expertise. Technical, practical and philosophical guidance is available from both leaders, as required…
Giles Stokoe / Giles Stokoe Photography
Mohammed Kamal / www.fotokam.net
Please contact us for more infos on: firstname.lastname@example.org