Gambling in the Streets of Morocco

These photos were taken in Morocco at the end of 2010. Most of them were what I like to call “hip-shots,” as tourists are often accosted by Moroccans into guilt-induced, monetary recompense for taking photographs (I sympathize with Moroccans who engage in this practice, as I wouldn’t want tourists to unabashedly exoticize me, my environs, and culture). These hip-shots – photos surreptitiously taken as the camera dangles by one’s side, without, needless to say, framing the shot through the viewfinder – appeal to me because they allow for unmatched, unsuspecting authenticity and candor.

Modernity following Tradition, Marrakech

Hip-shots contain less authorship, less performance, less mise-en-scène, less certainty. It is a gamble. There is only one opportunity to get a shot, and reviewing the photo is out of the question lest your cover is blown and/or the moment is forever lost. If the image is somewhat in-focus and decently exposed, if it is decently composed, and if the subject is compelling, the gamble could pay off. Most images, however, do not. Here are among the few that did.

Spices, Marrakech

Cleanup, Marrakech

Jamaa el Fna Stalls, Marrakech

Directions, Marrakech

Burden, Fez

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