Cultural Negotiations in Photography

Stéphanie Brown, PhD candidate in modern languages at QUB, thinks this article by Sean O’Hagan in the Guardian (25 November 2014), on the challenges of opening one of the world’s biggest photography galleries in Marrakech, Morocco, raises important questions about negotiations between cultures:

O’Hagan: “For most local people [in Marrakech], photography means one thing: the often intrusive presence of tourists with digital cameras in search of local colour. Last year, when I attended the opening event of the MMPVA’s ambitious programme, which featured a group show by Moroccan artists and an exhibition by five photographers from the renowned Magnum agency, the resulting review was headlined Marrakech: the city that distrusts photographers. Experienced photographers, such as Jim Goldberg and Susan Meiselas, experienced many difficulties as they tried to assemble a body of work on the city’s streets in just a few weeks. Chief among them was the locals’ utter aversion to being photographed. One man admonished Goldberg for taking a picture of his horse, shouting: “No! Stop! My horse does not want to be photographed.”

Read the article in the Guardian in full here.

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