THESE WILD STRAITS
Dounia Derfoufi and I were invited by the British Council to collaborate with each and give an artistic comic response to the 300 year anniversary of the first trade treaty between Morocco and the UK.
History is loaded and the way we retell it is just as loaded- what are our intentions? Who plays what character and why?
It was important for us to talk about the hidden colonial agenda of this treaty, and to expose how events that happened hundreds of years ago are still having a ripple on effect in our present times.
History is alive and lives within us.
So we take a shawl, and it unravels, and weaves a thread across time, that looks at the current political tensions between Spain, Morocco and Britain, and takes it back to this treaty.
We then look at the treaty itself, how Moroccan hospitality is constructed through a colonial gaze, which again still plays out to this day.
These wild straits have witnessed this convoluted triangle for hundreds of years and still continues to do so.
History is alive within us, we just need the eyes to see it’s truth.
Following the completion of the comic, I was invited to Morocco to talk about the project. We visited the Faculty of Letters and Humanities in Marrakech, participated in a live collaborative storytelling performance with oral storyteller Gary Cordingley [as part of Morocco’s International Festival of Storytelling], and met fellow artists in Casablanca in an informal artist co-working space.
See the full comic here