I have highlighted in previous posts my idea for my final project that hasn’t massively changed but has more been developing along the way. Through travelling to Sefrou, Morocco with Coventry University’s Changing Lives Programme, I got to experience something magical, something that people may spend years trying to find. I saw a part of the world hidden to most, a culture I knew nothing of, a society so tight-knit it seemed that you could have a conversation with almost anyone. Through my experience I came across some of the artisans who work there, Moroccan men and women who have dedicated their entire lives to their craft. A creative surge flows through the medina, through to courtyards where I met these people, this community who takes pride in what they do. The worrying part is that to them this is normal, a way of life and yet to me it seems like something new, something special.
I want to ask questions on why they do it and what the future holds, why do they feel their work is unique?, why is it important to have a community of artisans?, why is it important to pass on these skills and continue the apprenticeship? In the world we live in, these skills are dying away as we develop technology to replace the human worker. We all want the same things quickly, a demand that no one could have imagined. Originality get’s lost in this work. In Sefrou, it seemed no two pieces were alike whether it be a garment stitched by hand or an artefact carved from raw material. The creative ideas of the artisans seemed to flow so naturally, a space where all ideas were accepted.
In this documentary, I don’t just want to ask the artisans questions, I want to show their process in some form. I want to film their interactions with the material, how they feel when they work. Capture them where they feel most at home, doing what they’ve done for decades, tucked away from the world. People are unaware of the amazing skill that goes into some of these pieces and I want to show them.
This needs to exist as more than just a documentary, it should serve a purpose to enlighten people and help them realise that we must continue this work and preserve originality. In order to ensure that this can happen, I will be working with an organisation called Culture Vultures that sets up artists residencies for creatives around the world so that they can have workshops and learn from the artisans. I will be staying with them whilst shooting the documentary and may look to include them in the final piece. However, the artisans would be the main focus here but if they choose to speak of how the organisation has benefited their cause then I would definitely reference some of the members.
In the next few posts I will discuss some of the research that I have been undertaking and some of the stylistic ideas that I have for certain sequences. I have also looked at other documentaries and films for ideas on how I can shoot and edit these sequences. I want this piece to be unique and show the real heart of Sefrou through the eyes of the artisans. This small berber town is bustling with creativity, history and a very unique atmosphere. Take the cover photo above, translating to ‘downloading happiness’ as it’s a beautiful place with the friendliest people. I am going to try my best to capture all of this in it’s purest form.