The original concept was to take place in the Marrakech Souk located at Jemaa el-Fnaa Medina Square, based on the tourist as ‘an outsider’, dealing and negotiating a journey amongst the highly charged intensely busy environment. The idea based on perceived vulnerably, peoples interactions and the gaze in negotiating ones way through the hassle and bartering.
In my own experience I have heard and spoken to tourists about the aggressive selling that takes place and even though they enjoyed the weather and food etc the ‘selling’ was in their opinion ‘too much’.
Personally I am outgoing and confident, however when I first encountered the souk to look at the goods on sale and engage with sellers my defences were on the ‘up’, feeling slightly vulnerable, anxious and hesitant with eye contact and was aware that through avoidance of my gaze I was missing out of what was visible.
Rabat is not tourist driven as Marrakech being an administrative city, it is more relaxed and less busy, with hardly any hassle, therefore the original video idea needed to be altered.
I was introduced to and subsequently hired Toufik Elbouchiti through an artist contact Hatim Gueddari.
Hatim an artist was the interpreter for my project knowing Toufik since Theatre School and after discussions I came to the conclusion that Toufik would be the protagonist in the video instead of myself.
Toufik has contacts with blind organisations and I wish to work with him in contacting his numerous networks to screen the final video that will be made specifically with a Blind audience in mind.
I am aware that there may be an opportunity to screen with a blind video programme at the International film festival.
I met with Toufik to propose my ideas for the video and record his unseeing travel through Rabat’s souk wearing a Go-pro camera on his forehead whilst holding a pointer – a golden triangular mirror.
Having been inspired by the song ‘Amazing Grace’ and it’s lyrics I decided this would be a starting point that could incorporate Toufik’s memory, music and vocals. Toufik was thrilled with the idea feeling he was contributing to visual imagery by moving his head and body.
The lines ‘I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see’ and ’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home’ was the starting point.
Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ’d!
Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promis’d good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call’d me here below,
Will be forever mine.
Toufik completed the video lyrically and musically responding to my request of using ‘AMAZING GRACE’ as his inspiration.
Thank you to everyone who helped me complete my project.