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Monday, September 6, 2010

New kinds of competitions (for me)

I picked up a flier at Uni the other day and found out about a really neat photo competition being run by my Political Science school at the uni. I decided to enter some of my shots from Morocco (this first one was originally posted here I think) when I went for an ITU race back in May. Each photo required a description that obviously has to impress the professors and PhD scholars, so I gave it a go and here are my entries!

Writing on the Wall

This photo was taken during my second day in Morocco. My perceptions as to what Morocco would be like prior to arriving had been well adjusted by the time this photo was taken.  It was made abruptly clear just by walking the streets that time in Morocco has stood still for decades. Time and civil society in Morocco may perhaps even be going backwards as encapsulated by this photo. The writing on the wall is clear, but the doors are locked, the blinds are closed and the streets are decaying and littered with filth. Ironically, a lack of monetary wealth and purpose is a large part of the problem. The money comes out of the wall, but ultimately the dilapidated streets and the dreamy populace don’t allow it to go back in. Thus, the vacuum is filled on the gutters and pavement of the streets.


My journey in Morocco continued with some late night discovery walks around the city of Larache. Every corner I turned, I would see something that blew my mind, and this image stands as no exception. The road is in a state if disrepair as Asphalt is broken up and divided by sand (the dominant surface of the city’s landscape), to me encapsulating the city’s failed attempt to modernise.  Behind the sand is an uncovered, but perfunctorily fenced man hole perhaps leading to the town’s sewage system, neighbored by a mound of dirt. People are walking past oblivious and without concern, yet this is by no means a pedestrian street, demonstrated by a cars attempt to negotiate the obstacles. To me this embodies the sad duality of the people; their continued intent to modernized, but failure to recognize the pitfalls that are bringing them up brutally short. 


Larache in Morocco is the most visually oppressed city I have seen in my travels, and the people have a clear disconnect between pride and property. However when the sun goes down, the streets are lined with people sitting on chairs drinking a simple mint-leaf tea. There is no alcohol to be found and no hooliganism to be seen; the Koran is the rule of law here. Graffiti as a common crime in the west is evidently a simple act of faith here as a hooded man scribes the Koran on a wall. I stood there for five minutes watching this man, who never once turned his head or attention from his scriptures on a wall seemingly painted and cleared for this exact purpose. 

Thanks for reading,



  1. great photos, josh!

  2. Yeah! Great photos!
    The composition of the 'Writing on the Wall'
    is perfect. Did you intend to show the juxtaposition of 'the filth and squalor with the middle classes and money' when you caressed that shutter?
    Your commentary sounded somewhat un Australian! Though that can be forgiven as you were talking to Australian Academia!