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.