PHS: What has drawn you to photography?
H: Growing up I wasn’t really into art in general, however, I was always searching for ways to find something where I see myself fit. The summer before I started high school I got my first phone and I began taking pictures of anything. I captured scenery I found beautiful. Slowly I noticed more and more details in my surroundings. Coming to think of Photography, it just kind of came my way in the most unexpected but beautiful way. I started developing my skills and took photography more seriously.
PHS: Who and What influences your work?
H: I gather a lot of inspiration from my surroundings, my own experiences in life, and the things I am personally going through. However, some photographers I am looking up to are Ilyes Griyeb, Alec Soth, and Grade Solomon. I do admire their work and aspire to be like them one day. Music also heavily influences and shapes a lot of my images. Mostly, when taking pictures alone in public, I am listening to music, which not only reduces my anxiety but also functions as a protective shield. Recently, a friend of mine, Davi Russo, who is also a photographer, has been a big inspiration for me and also supported me in developing my work.
PHS: How did you experience the transition from phone to camera photography?
H: The transition from phone to camera was smooth. My phone was the first device I have ever used to capture my surroundings. As soon as my parents saw my interest in photography they supported me by buying me a small digital point and shoot. However, my phone was very much accessible and with a camera, there is a lot of pressure involved. Especially, when I am out in public and people see a camera it brings attention to you. Yet, this transition was something that needed to happen for my practice to evolve. In the end, it doesn’t matter - It is mainly about how you perceive the environment, you want to capture.
PHS: What emotions and messages do you want to share with your audience?
H: Speaking of Morocco I feel grateful to be born in this country. I have come across some scenery that I would have never been able to experience if I wasn’t from here. Morocco, as it is, is a unique country with unique dynamics. In my images I want to portrait stillness. A way to escape from the real world. I think that most of the time my photographs tend to make people feel like they belong to a certain space. Being able to become part of the work is one of my main intentions when creating. A message I want to share with people is to be more aware of the details of our everyday lives. There are stories everywhere we go. It is just a matter of taking time and appreciating our surroundings - that is where the beauty lies.
PHS: What are you main topics you discuss in your work?
H: For the most part, there is not a particular topic that I am working towards. Nonetheless, there are things that I often find myself going back to. My own memories and experiences, interwoven with my identity form most of my work. A year ago I started working on a Zine called “Places I Once Knew”. It is a selection of photographs, of places that I have been to throughout my life and still carry memories. It is a truly interesting topic, thinking about how spaces hold emotions and memories, even after we are long gone. My work and topics are always evolving, just like we human beings are ever-evolving. Reflecting on new circumstances and surroundings.
PHS: How do you approach a new project?
H: When approaching a new project I am not trying to follow a linear path. At the beginning of my career, I didn’t use to structure my work, but now I am brainstorming concepts or ideas before diving into a new project. In post-production, I am focusing on finding a red thread within the images. Similar to my series “Me and You” which is one of my most favourite series I have done so far. The process was very spontaneous and lasted for an extended time. The connection between these images only crystalized when revisiting them during the editing process.
PHS: What are your wishes and hopes for your future career?
H: Photography has provided me with a lot of opportunities so far. It connected me with all kinds of people, that I would have never gotten to know otherwise. I hope and aspire to keep doing what I am doing right now. I want to reach as many people as possible with my work and travel to new places. Other than that, I want to experiment more with my photography and start a long term documentary project. In the future, I would also love to have a solo exhibition and publish a photo book.
PHS: What do you think is needed in the African photography industry?
H: I think acceptance and support within our society, that photography and art, in general, isn’t such a crazy passion to follow as people make it seem. This support would mean investing in talents and cultural, creative, and educational spaces. If we invest in the creative industry it will also have a lot of benefits for our society as a whole.
PHS: What are you currently working on?
H: Currently, I am working on a project about children. It explores how they move through spaces. I think a child’s movement, behaviour, and imagination are incredibly interesting. I am also working on a long term project which is called “A Shadow That Once Was A Light“ which is a translation of past feelings to make sense of current emotions. Working with the concept of light turning into shadow. And as always I am documenting my daily life.
PHS and Hiba Dahibi
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