I heard about a cafe arts space called Cafe Clock in Fez and went to check it out. www.cafeclock.com

Fez was approximately three hours drive from Rabat consisting of mainly Motorway with Tolls, however I enjoyed the changing landscape and also the opportunity to venture outside Fez near to an area called Ifrane which was more countryside and nature.

Ifrane is a city in the Middle Atlas region of Morocco with the capital of Ifrane Province in the region of Fès-Meknès. In Tamazight, the regional Berber language, “ifran” means caves.

Fez is the second largest city of Morocco, with a population of approximately 1.1 million and the capital city until 1925. The city has two old medina quarters, the larger of which is Fes el Bali and is believed to be one of the world’s largest urban pedestrian zones. I learned that the University of Al Quaraouiyine which was founded in 859, is the oldest functioning university in the world.

Driving into Fez from Rabat

Cafe Clock is a hip hangout that served great food (I had lamb Tagine about £7), music, story-telling nights etc among other creative experiences. It is very chilled with lovely friendly staff working in a three floored cafe Riad with small library, rooftop terrace and art on the walls…ohh and a great Chandelier made of long shiny Moroccan trumpets.

There is also another branch of Clock in Marrakech which I will visit next time to see if it is different or whether it is a chain replica of Fez. The only down side was hearing that the staff are only on £1 an hour, which seems a low considering how efficient, well spoken and hard working they were, so tipps would be nice!



The main aim of the an:travel bursary was to enable me to edit to completion a video I recorded last November in 2015 at the location of Rabat’s Souk. The original proposal was for the ‘Marrakech Biennale 6’ which took place February 2016, however I was not selected for the Parallel Projects. Therefore I decided to still continue with my idea and spent a three weeks self funded visit throughout November/December in 2015.

This enabled me to build up contacts, meeting numerous artists and creatives who potentially may assisted me in the future.

Being granted the an:travel bursary I was able to return this time to record sound, interview people with visual difficulties, create a narrative and edit the awaiting footage which was stored at GML Film Studio. I secured film specialist Marouane Bahrar alongside interpreter and artist Hatim Gueddari to assist me in completing this work.

Originally my concept was to take place at the main Marrakech Souk located at Jemaa el-Fnaa Medina Square and an idea based on the tourist as ‘an outsider’ dealing and negotiating their way amongst the hassle and bartering taking place.

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 busy souk area to look at the goods on sale and engage with sellers my defences were on the up. I was hesitant with eye contact, feeling slightly vulnerable and anxious and through avoidance of my gaze I was missing out of what was visible.

Rabat is not as tourist driven as Marrakech, the difference for me is like Manchester and London because it’s more relaxed less busy, with hardly any hassle, so therefore the original video idea needed to be altered.

I was introduced to and subsequently hired Toufik Elbouchiti through artist contact Hatim Gueddari and after discussions with them I came to the conclusion 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.

As part of my research I met and audio recorded a gentleman named Mohammed who has been blind since age of 7, telling him about my video and asking him how he engages with films. I told him about Toufik and he instantly knew him and this helped him feeling more at ease through our conversation. Hatim Guedarri was our much needed interpreter and without his help my conversation would have been impossible.


I had heard many times that Chefchaouen was a must and see destination, so it was high on my hit list. As mentioned in my previous blog post film student Wassim Ahajjam is from Chefchaouen and kindly found me a house to rent for 3 nights.

Chefchaouen or Chaouen, as it is often called, is a popular tourist destination. The name refers to the shape of the mountain tops above the town, that look like the two horns (chaoua) of a goat. “Chef Chaouen” derives from the Berber word for horns. There are approximately 200 hotels catering to the summer influx of European tourists. One distinction possessed by Chefchaouen is its blue-rinsed houses and buildings. There are several theories as to why the walls were painted blue. One popular theory is that the blue keeps mosquitos away, another is that Jews introduced the blue when they took refuge from Hitler in the 1930s. The blue is said to symbolise the sky and heaven, and serve as a reminder to lead a spiritual life.

Chefchaouen is a popular shopping destination, offering many native handicrafts that are not available elsewhere in Morocco, such as wool garments and woven blankets. The goat cheese native to the area is also popular with tourists. I bought a lovely soft nature towel of pink and some scary looking goat shoes.

Moroccan eyes in Chefchaouen

I visited the old Kasbah in the centre of the town to take photographs and record sound. It was quiet because it was still Ramadan and the call to prayer sounded wonderful whilst I was sat in beautiful quiet courtyard.  There’s the tower and the prison and the views of the mountain setting were amazing. Entry is 10 Dirhams.

The surrounding countryside has a reputation for being a prolific source of chief and the region is one of the main producers of cannabis in Morocco. I didn’t part-take in that department just getting high on the place, people and my lovely companion Pauline who I met in Rabat and works at the British Council. She’s always wanted to visit here and had finished work for the summer, so good timing and a brilliant experience.

Journey from Rabat to Chefchaouen in a car is approx 4 hours. Here are some photographs I took along the way.




I was staying in an apartment in the centre of Rabat that belongs to a Spanish architect and his friend Hanae Elyakoubi Hmimid is currently studying at the ISMAC: institut superieur des métiers de l’audovisuel et du cinéma. She asked if I minded the students using the flat to film a horror thriller as part of their course project. Of course I agreed and was happy to watch the process of organising and filming which I have to say was Moroccan timing! They were due at 8am but after encountering a few issues filming it became an afternoon and very late evening process. I was impressed with the time put into staging, especially the make up artists work which was excellent. I also met Hassane Benabbou the Directeur and specialist in large budget films and special effects who teaches at the University. Sound was recorded by Wassim Ahajjam who is from Chefchaouen known to be one of the prettiest towns in the Rif area. He kindly found me a house to rent for 3 days the following week after I expressed an interest in going there. A few days after the filming took place I visited ISMAC after being invited to the university to see the working space, film sets and campus. I have remained in contacted with Mina Abouelanouar and Hanae Elyakoubi Hmimid two of the students  and we discussed a future collaborative film focussing on woman, so watch this space!


The British Council is situated opposite a popular cafe called ‘Majestic’ and is located on the 5th floor of the British University. As part of my travel bursary networking was key and earlier in February I visited the British Council, however at that time the arts project manager was on holiday and therefore it was important for me to visit again.

This time I met with Farah Fawzi the Councils Arts Project Manager who remembered the business card I left months prior and was available to listen as I explained who I was and what my current project and visit entailed. She was interested to hear about my ideas and film ‘A New Vision” (when the mind hears) featuring Toufik Elbouchiti regarding the ‘gaze’ created specifically with Blind and partially blind audiences in mind. I aim to put together a proposal which will include a cross exchange of artists from Morocco and the North-west of England and potentially Farah will be a good contact to talk through future plans.

Worth noting is an art supplies shop called FORTIN SELECT just further down the road from the British University and British Council.

In the afternoon I visited L’Espace Expressions, a free entry exhibition organised by the CDG Foundation showcasing the work of Moroccan artist Khalil El Ghrib, who apparently rarely exhibits! He was born in 1948 in Asilah where he currently lives and works and does not sign his works nor sell them. I vaguely remember seeing his work at the Marrakech Biennale in February.


The exhibition was well presented in a natural light setting with various framed works on paper and group under different headings. Running through the middle of the space were long rectangular glass boxes containing various detritus and well worn and aged objects.

Khalil El Ghrib states “The time for me is the common factor in all my work”.