THE MOROCCO FACES, BY LEILA ALAOUI

Although much of the program has already finished, PhotoEspaña still has exhibitions to offer. We recommend that you take advantage of these last days to enjoy some excellent showings. We highlight the work of Leila Alaoui, which can be seen in the Arab House until September 22nd.

Leila Alaoui, “Esauira”, 2012

The exhibition "The Moroccans" has been organised thanks to the collaboration of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco and the Leila Alaoui Foundation. It puts together 30 stunning portraits that the photographer made between 2010 and 2014, within a personal project in which she tried to reflect the reality of her country and the power of the look of the individual. Fleeing from the traditional image that pays attention to the contextual elements, she sought to capture the essence of the person and, at the same time, to reflect the details of a way of life, of culture and traditions condensed in the chosen outfit and clothing.

Leila Alaoui, “Moulay Abdeslam”, 2010

This project could not be understood without knowing part of the life of the Franco-Moroccan photographer. Leila was born in Paris but spent her childhood and youth in Marrakech. At that time, her imagination was feeding on the persistent stories of emigrants that seek a better life venturing through the Mediterranean and the tragedy associated with these forced trips, often frustrated and risky. With the passing of the years and her inclination towards photography, Leila saw in this artistic discipline the possibility of generating a discourse of social awareness that would allow her to bring to light many of the stories she had heard as a child and that still were, in the 21st century, entirely common.

“Tameslohte” (Marrakech-Safi 2010) ©Leila Alaoui Foundation

Fully focused on social photography, her work has mostly been developed in the North African countries of the Mediterranean basin. With diverse themes that seek a sort of social justice through the image, her narrative has dealt with emigration, refugee movements, women's inequality, interculturality or national identity. One of her characteristic techniques was to set up an improvised photography studio in the street and invite anyone who wanted to be portrayed. Many of her projects have had the selfless collaboration of numerous citizens, attracted by her equal speech and proximity.

Leila Alaoui, “Plaza de Yamaa el Fna”, 2011

In "The Moroccans", an exhibition curated by the writer and critic Guillaume de Sardes, the humanistic and committed nature of Leila's work is evident. Her photographs want to be the voice of many who have no chance to speak. Her portraits are direct, genuine encounters with people who openly look at the camera to hardly offer their faces surrounded by traditional fabrics. Each look invites us to reconstruct a personal story, but at the same time shared by all of them, which tells us about a common history.

Unfortunately, Leila Alaoui died in 2016 after an attack in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), a city where she was working on a project proposed by Amnesty International on the status of women. Her work visits our country for the first time in a beautiful tribute to her social commitment and her talent as a photographer.

 

In Art Madrid, we love art in all its aspects. Therefore, on the occasion of our 15th anniversary and thanks to Cooltourspain.com , visitors at Art Madrid’20 will have the possibility to enjoy a free guided tour of urban art to discover the street art hidden by Lavapiés, one of the most multicultural and colourful neighbourhoods of Madrid.

With the code ARTMADRID2020

and your ticket to the Art Madrid’20 fair, you can enjoy "Street art Tour Lavapiés" for free, on days 26th, 27th and 28th of February at 11:00 a.m. The capacity is limited, so do not doubt, book your place at Cooltourspain.com Once the confirmation is received, you just have to go with your open eyes to enjoy this magnificent experience.

Street art is the expression of art in public spaces either in the form of murals in restored buildings; graffiti; street painting or curated artistic actions. What are the backstories of each artist? What are the social issues affecting our city? This social, cultural and educational project was born in 2016 to answer these questions and show the message hidden by the works of art of so many national and international artists who have painted the Embajadores neighbourhood. It became the first daily street art tour in Madrid.

Cooltourspain will show you the Spanish capital in an alternative way and its guides will share their knowledge about the best street art in the Lavapiés and Malasaña areas. In the same way, its Foundation collaborates with non-profit projects and local associations so that people at risk of social exclusion can learn the techniques used by Madrid graffiti artists. The tour lasts two hours and begins at the Valle Inclán Theater Entrance.