The young Rotterdam based photographer Laisa Maria presents a visual essay of two trips to Essaouira, a fishers town in Morocco. Essaouira is a popular travel destination, its Mediterranean charm and bohemian feel ever enchanting to outsiders. Therefore, the oriental gaze is never far away, with “orientalism" being a way of seeing that imagines, emphasizes, exaggerates and distorts differences of peoples and cultures of North-Africa and the Middle East – the Orient – as compared to that of the West, which is often portrayed as mysterious or exotic.
Through photography, Laisa examined the ways her own eyes capture this “otherness”. By being sensitive to the unconscious ways in which oriëntalism plays the mind, she tries to find different images. These images are an attempt to look beyond the travel photography of the more dominant eye and find a more honest palette.
Laisa Maria obtained her master degree in Cultural Anthropology. For her, photography is a way of doing – or seeing – anthropology. Currently, she is working on a long-term documentary project in her hometown.
For more information: www.laisamaria.com
The exhibition will be on show until the end of March. Entrance is free.