KARIMA: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A HENNA GIRL
Hassan Hajjaj, considered "the andy warhol of Morocco," paints a more complex vision of contemporary Islamic gender roles
Following up on his stereotype-shattering photography series 'Kesh Angels' which depicts the girl biker gangs of Marakesh, the Artist Hassan Hajjaj spent time documenting "A Day In The Life Of Karima: A Henna Girl". The Marrakesh-set documentary follows Hajjaj's favorite 'Kesh Angel' character: Karima who is a mother, wife, artist, henna artist, local icon and graduate of what he calls "Jamaa Fena: the university of street life". Known for breezing through Marrakesh on her bike with her vibrant veils and textile abayas and djabellas fluttering in her wake, Karima is also a normal woman who works eight or ten hours a day. Though his film Hajjaj paints a more complex vision of contemporary Islamic gender roles.
The film premiered at the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art, and has also been screened at Pompidou in Paris, Art Basel Switzerland, the British Museum of London, and the Memphis Brook Museum.
Director/Producer: Hassan Hajjaj
Editing: Pete Stern
Music: Gnawa Impulse, Komy Sociologie
Visual Effects: Pat Darrin
Length: 72 min
Language: Arabic, English subtitles
PLAYS IN CONCERT WITH NEW EYES
Along a river, a shy 13 years-old-girl, Selam, encounters a couple having sex in what seems to be an ordinary morning. Upset, she tries to focus on what she was doing when the couple joins separately the river to bathe. She cannot make herself stop starring at the irresistible naked body of the man. She starts to look at everything with her new eyes, turning everything and everyone into sexual objects. She gets jealous of the woman who did sex, her neighbour, who seems to own everything that Selam does not have: the body and curves of a woman who draws all men’s attention and sexuality. She foresees her rising sexual life and her place as a woman.
A photographer, designer, and filmmaker, Hassan Hajjaj is one of Morocco’s preeminent international artists, sometimes called his native country’s answer to Andy Warhol. Entirely self-taught and influenced by a mix of London’s hip-hop and reggae scenes and his North African heritage, Hajjaj has a diverse practice that includes portraiture, installation, performance, fashion, and furniture design. He is best known for his photography, a medium he turned to in the late 1980s and in which he draws influence from Pop Art, fashion photography, and the studio work of Malick Sidibe. His recent work centers on “rockstars,” capturing a range of international musicians and performers in exquisitely composed, radically ornate portraits (and in a film that debuted at LACMA).
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