Reporting from: Marrakesh, Morocco
Local Contact: Susannah Conway
What kind of work are you doing in Marrakesh?
I’ll be leading a week-long Polaroid photography retreat in February 2012 with my co-authors, Jen Altman and Amanda Gilligan and ten excited participants. Our book, Instant Love: How to Make Magic and Memories with Polaroids (Chronicle Books) is coming out in the spring so we wanted our first retreat to be held somewhere truly magical to celebrate the book’s launch.
What have you seen there that inspires you artistically, creatively or otherwise?
I first visited Marrakesh in 2010 and it was as dusty, hot and incredible as I’d hoped it would be. The riad we stayed in was a hidden oasis within the walls of the medina, and every morning we’d eat breakfast overlooking the patchworked rooftops of the city. The souks were a rabbit warren of treasures, and I spent hours browsing the spices and perfumes, silverware and colourful babouches. As a photographer I thought a city like Marrakesh, with all its detail and bohemian splendor, would make my head explode but, interestingly, I took it all in my stride, knowing it’s impossible to miss a shot when everything you see is a shot. I had a mental checklist of the Polaroids I wanted to get—spices, doorways, faded walls and the ubiquitous tea sets—and I scored all of them and so much more. The light… the colours… the people—all of it inspired me.
What can our readers do to create their own creative adventure in their own neighborhoods & communities?
Gift yourself with an afternoon safari with your camera. Head out to parts of your town or city you haven’t explored before. Be a tourist for the day and stop on every street corner. Look above your head and under your feet. Buy a map, stick a pin in it and set off in that direction. Look out for the details and colours, the signs and lettering. Keep your eyes open for the unusual and interesting.
Susannah Conway is a photographer, writer and the creator of the Unravelling e-courses. Her first book, This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart (Globe Pequot Press), launches in June 2012. You can read more about her shenanigans on her blog at SusannahConway.com and connect with her on Twitter.
Christine Mason Miller is a writer and mixed-media artist who loves to travel, wander and explore, whether on her own or vicariously through others. Her next book, Desire to Inspire: Using Creative Passion to Transform the World, will be released in November 2011 by North Light Books. Visit her at www.christinemasonmiller.com. Eager for more of her travel musings? Visit www.gypsygirlsguide.com.
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