This is my video proposal for my final project which will explore the life of Mustapha Elghorami, an artisan who lives and works in Sefrou, Morocco. We get to see his extraordinary craft and age-old workshop, said to have been used for over four centuries. He wants his work to be seen by people not just in Morocco but throughout the world.
I am happy with how the video turned out. I spent a lot of time planning what I was going to say and record in. I did capture some nice images when I last visited Sefrou but there wasn’t quite enough. Unfortunately I cannot just head over to Morocco and I felt nothing I mocked up in Coventry would work. Still I used what I had as well as referenced research material that inspired me.
Here is the proposal:
Below is a transcript of exactly what I said in the video:
Hi there, my name is Samuel Lardner and this is my video proposal for my short documentary entitled ‘Mustapha the Weaver’. Early last year, I was fortunate enough to visit a place called Sefrou in Morocco. Here I met a community of artisans who have dedicated their entire lives to their craft, mastering skills that are unknown to most of us.
I met one man in particular; they call him Mustapha the Weaver. In his workshop, there is a loom that he claims to be some 400 years old where he has spent the majority of his life weaving materials together. His work is unique and represents the traditional artisanship that has flowed through these communities for centuries. A humble, honest man who yearns for people to see and appreciate his work.
I want this documentary to help bring recognition to Mustapha as well as the artisanal community in Sefrou. It will examine his thoughts on the textile work, on the city and on the future of the artisans.
I want to film his interactions with the material, how he feels when he works. Capture the Weaver at home, doing what he’s done for decades tucked away from the modern world.
Researching into other documentaries, I realised how an everyday person can inspire and motivate you without necessarily realising it. Elgin Park is a short piece that explores the life of Michael Paul Smith. He recreates a fictional town through models organised against working backdrops and photographs them. The images speak for themselves, he loves what he does and that’s enough.
Another piece that inspired my documentary is ‘The Artisans of Morocco’ that focuses on the sounds of tools colliding with materials. The unique blend of noise that tells a story on it’s own.
It can be said that these skills are dying away as we develop technology that can render the human worker useless. Originality is lost. I want to question the importance of preserving these traditions, the idea of the apprenticeship and what it could mean for Sefrou and Morocco, if these working communities were to disappear.
In the presence of these people, you understand their measure of creativity and you unconsciously feel the need to create yourself. ‘Mustapha the Weaver’ will invite you into a hidden world of beauty and tradition, stay a while and you’ll experience something truly unique.
Thank you for listening.
- Elgin Park (2015) D. Danny Yourd. [Online] Available from: vimeo.com/116577464 [Accessed: January 8th 2017]
- The Artisans of Morocco (2013) D. Ryosei Suzuki [Online] Available from: vimeo.com/70304558 [Accessed: January 9th 2017]
Music used: Crazy Heart
Artist: Bahramji ft. Maneesh de Moor