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El Maghreb

One day I showed to my father some of my photos. The grave of her mother and the portraits of his sisters, in Rabat. He simply said: “I have understood”. And I considered that as an evidence of love. The images would take him back to the country.
My work on Morocco is situated in a transitory space, in three round trips: “Images of a return to the country” (2001), “Ramadan” (2004), “Ba oua Salam” (2005). This work is first of all a look on my people, who have become the main characters of a photographic story.
As a consequence of migration, there is the need to maintain social relationships with the native country as well as outside this country. While my father refused to return to Morocco, family history wanted the son to come back. It was up to me to recreate the connections. My work would then question memory, places, feelings and the complexity of separation with ones country and the way each of us lives the affective links with family. I had to go further than the simple “official” history of immigration. My images are not in line with human drama caught live. They evoke depression, which is reaching Moroccan youth and contemporary migration matters. I photograph Morocco in order to draw off France. Neither my identity or History give me a choice: I am stateless and nostalgic at the same time.
The rereading of my family album, the experience of documents, the notes on the back of the images, as well as the discovery of my father’s first passport were allowing me to synthesize the temporalities of the different events of our life. My photographs succeed the representations of our personal experience; they show the reconstruction of a spiritual story, whose hero reappears at the surface of the image in its time length.
Malik Nejmi

The exhibition "el Maghreb" is an installation that needs a particular scenography. There are 4 well-defined spaces, a sound system and mural texts. The global surface of the exhibition is of 150 m2.

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