Travel Diary: Morocco By Michela Biagini

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Could you introduce yourself to our readers ? Where are you from, where you live?
Three single words are enough to describe myself: Photographer. Mathematician. Traveler.

I’m thirty-three years old and I live in Pisa (you have probably already heard for its leaning tower); I’ve studied mathematics and what I do now is trying to balance my many works with a deep, visceral desire to discover the world.

Travel Diary: Morocco by Michela Biagini

How did you get into photography? Can you remember the first photo you shot?
I don’t remember when I shot my first photo, but we talk about many years ago. Probably my earliest “photographic memory” dates back to 1991, when I spent my Christmas holidays with my uncles in England. My mother has always had a true passion for the photography, at the point that she always carried a camera with her. I often tried (unfortunately in vain) to take some pictures, but my mother never let me do so at the time. During my journey in London, there was a big clock that caught my attention, so I decided to take a picture of it. The final result? Unforgivably terrible. I immortalized a big bald man who walked heedless under an anonymous clock.

In the summer of 2002, my parent’s Nikon SLR was resurrected from a chest totally covered with dust. From the moment on, the more the years have passed, the more my passion for photography has continued to increase.

When did you travel to Morocco? Why did you choose this destination?
I have been in Morocco three times because I am totally in love with this country. The first time that I went there it was nine years ago. There was me and a friend of mine. We chose to go there by chance. In fact, we initially wanted to go to Paris, but the idea of visiting Morocco seemed much more… “exotic”.

Travel Diary: Morocco by Michela Biagini Travel Diary: Morocco by Michela Biagini

What inspired you the most in Morocco?
I was completely ignorant about Morocco. My idea was to find a backward country, with dirty roads and women confined at home. Before departing we even consulted a tourist guide which nearly convinced us to change our destination! It described Morocco as a sexist country, where the only kind of women that we could meet on the street would be prostitutes. Everything that was written in those pages was totally wrong. Once we arrived in Morocco, what we have found was a pioneering country, where modernity and tradition blend perfectly together.

What has been your most touching or most amazing moment you’ve experienced while traveling Morocco?
In a square of Fez Medina, I snapped a photo of a young boy beating a copper pot. Seven years later, I returned to the same square and I ran into the same boy, who was still doing the same job; the only difference was that he was no longer on a step, but inside a small shop across the square. I must admit that, at first, I was really excited to see him again after so long, but, on the other hand, I was petrified by the idea that an entire life could be spent beating copper pots.

Travel Diary: Morocco by Michela Biagini Travel Diary: Morocco by Michela Biagini

How did the Moroccan culture influence your work for this series?
Before visiting Morocco it was really difficult that some people appeared in my photos. I don’t want to say that I had never taken pictures of someone before my journey, of course not. I took pictures with my friends for instance, but I never had any desire of taking a picture of a stranger on the street at the time. Once I arrived in Morocco, I found an irresistible variety of faces, colors, expressions and Moroccans taught me that if you ask with a genuine smile, then no one will refuse to pose for you.

What tips or advice would you give to travel photographers?
To draw inspiration from everything that surrounds you, from the use of light in Caravaggio’s paintings, or the brilliant surrealism of Salvador Dalì with his vibrant colors, up to a Beatles song. In doing this you will feed your imagination every day and you could keep your eyes wide open. Last but not the least, when you travel always remember to open your mind, letting that what surrounds you to flow inside you.

Travel Diary: Morocco by Michela Biagini

What is the creative process behind your photographs?
My projects are mainly divided into two groups. The first one is much more mental. It has to do with notes, sketches and a lot of post-production stuff. The other one regards my instinct. When I shoot traveling or simply taking a walk, I’m totally spontaneous and if I want to capture the beauty of the world I just follow what Dylan Dog would call my “fifty and a half sense”. In conclusion, I love telling stories with my pictures.

Travel Diary: Morocco by Michela Biagini Travel Diary: Morocco by Michela BiaginiTravel Diary: Morocco by Michela Biagini

What is the main challenge you face with photography?
The main challenge is undoubtedly to create a bond with the subject. On the opposite side of the lens there are complete strangers with whom you can share just a smile or an unintelligible aspect of a culture which is miles away from yours. In fact, in that moment you’re not simply taking a picture, but you are showing the life of that person or you’re telling the story of a place!

Where in the world would be your dream destination to take pictures?
Nowadays I’ve just explored 5,44% of the world and a total of 37 countries. Therefore I would say that the destination of my dream would be… the remaining 94,66%. I’m in love with Asia, especially India and the Southeast of the continent, so I will probably continue to choose it as a destination for my next travels.

Travel Diary: Morocco by Michela Biagini Travel Diary: Morocco by Michela Biagini


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