Amarg’ is the Amazigh (Berber) word for nostalgia, though it is also
used to signify a hybrid form of musical poetry found in Southern
Morocco. Southeastern Morocco presents a strange combination of
different kinds of empty spaces, huge and desolated, ranging from the
Atlas Mountains to the Sahara desert.
Life is seldom found in these lands, which impart an almost
metaphysical feeling, forcing one to conjure meanings or answers to
their questions that will continue to remain as elusive as the very
nature of these places themselves. As the famous Berber poet and
writer, Mohammed Khair-Eddine once said, ‘Deserts and mountains take
us closer to the cosmos, to its mysterious genesis, to the very little
glimpse of everything’s beginning’.
The djellaba is a typical outfit worn throughout North Africa,
particularly in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. There has always been a
particular aura associated with the garment, and this series focuses
on the pairing of a sort of mystical figure wearing the djellaba with
the vast and boundless terrain over which he traverses daily.
Ultimately, the aim of the photographs is to impart a deep and
fundamental understanding of the desert’s ability to spur the type of
introspection and enlightenment that writers such as Saint-Exupéry
wrote about with such passion.
The extreme nothingness of these landscapes casts a spell upon those
who visit them. Anyone who has known life in these silent realms is
familiar with the feelings of solitude and desolation they bring; yet,
they regard them with a certain happiness nonetheless. In this
context, this feeling of happiness / nostalgia (or, wanderlust)
relates to a sentimentality not for the past, but rather for those
rare moments in which one can contemplate their pure self.