Stunning Portraits of Moroccans

Explore identity and cultural diversity

Heritage through portrait photography
Born in Paris and educated in New York, artist Leila Alaoui found her passion in exploring her Moroccan heritage through portrait photography. Her project, “The Moroccans“, aimed to explore identity and cultural diversity, through a series of portraits taken on travels in Morocco.

Alaoui was tragically killed in the terrorist attacks in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso, in January 2016.

Alaoui traveled with a mobile photography studio, so that she could photograph her subjects privately, in respect of Moroccan customs.

“Since many Moroccans have rarely been photographed in this manner, no direction was needed as they naturally strike the same straightforward pose, looking intensely into the camera” said Alaoui. “Intimated by the burst of the flash, they automatically step out of the studio after the first click, leaving me only with a one shot opportunity.”

Here, her experiences must be from the rural and mountain communities of Morocco, as everyone who has been to the urban areas of Marrakesh, Casablanca or Essaouira know that Moroccans can take a selfie or send out a stream of Snapchats like the best (or worst) of us!

We can expect exhibitions to render hommage to this talented artist whose life and art has been cruelly cut short. Make sure to go if there is one near you, because the portraits are even more impressive printed life size.
Jemaa El Fnaa Square #3, 2011
Souk of Tounfite, Middle Atlas, 2011
Chefchaoun, Rif Mountains, 2010
Khamlia, South of Morocco #2, 2014
Jemaa El Fnaa Square # 4, 2011
Tamesloht, 2011
Essaouira, 2011
Khamlia, South of Morocco #1, 2014
Merzouga, 2014
Jemaa El Fnaa Square #1, 2014
Khamlia Bride, South of Morocco, 2014

Souk of Boumia, Middle Atlas, 2011


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