Abdo Shanan – Dry Series

« Am I an island? Where is my ocean? What is my relation to it? », citation tirée de Dry, Abdo Shanan.








In 2016, through the Africa in Visu platform, I met Abdo Shanan and discovered the images of his series Diary:Exil. This personal diary in staccato black and white immediately appealed to me, like a piece of music that we listen to over and over again.

From that point I followed the construction of the Dry project. The black and white duo gave way to a mixture of colour and black and white. Through his landscapes and portraits, Abdo Shanan continues to question his/our link to territory, his/our identity. This quest, initially personal, becomes universal. The author takes leave of his daily life as portrayed in Diary:Exil to meet women and men from here and elsewhere who, while being part of an environment, do not feel part of it.

Through interviews and portraits, the photographer weaves a collective history in which each word is unique. The narrative cannot be linear, chronological or geographical as it is created by a multitude of experiences and memories. With images, Abdo Shanan seems to respond to the poet John Donne: “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent…“.

Jeanne Mercier

Hasnae El Ouarga, the making of an icon

Hasna El Ouraga’s photographs speak to me.

For me, they convoke the Christian iconography of pain and suffering;

By reclaiming this iconographic tradition, she constructs an allegorical reality.

Beyond, the position of the body, the frame, the gaze, under her photographer’s eye, these women become Madonnas.

As she stipulates herself in her note of intent: “through my shots I try to capture their moods, to explore the depths of their story and personhood, and the metamorphosis of the state of mind.”

Emotion guaranteed, these photos are now but a static image, our unconscious dives in, these photos of women become places in the memory, one can almost feel the pain, the serenity, cries of rage, and hope… the story of each of these Madonnas,

Each one an icon.

Zineb Andress Arraki, Architect & Photographer


Wiame Haddad

Ceux qui restent

(Those who remain)

2012 – 2016


This photographer has the ability to make us feel ill at ease. These uncomfortable constructions are such that deconstruct our assumptions, notably about what can be “shown,” and about the representation of the body within the specific socio-cultural environment in which she grew up. Born in Lille, France, to North African parents, Haddad questions the legitimacy of her own point of view in the various series that compose her photographic process.

She adopts the position of in-between. Is her approach a Western one? Which legitimacy can she assume to possess?









She has chosen the “body” as the “body” of her approach.  Infused with great modesty and delicacy, a real tension nevertheless emanates from her images. No doubt largely due to the force of persuasion that she, a young woman, would have to exert upon her (Tunisian) father to accept posing nude. The comment is political. The body is drawn into a context of confinement and interior conflict, provoked by a historic or social environment. A softness emerges from her images – a softness one imagines to be a characteristic of the artist, one that is reinforced by the power of “resistance.” One might believe that, over the course of time, Wiame Haddad will participate in the evolution of perception of one continent toward another…

Nathalie Locatelli

Founder of Galerie 127, Marrakech