A Day in Morocco with contributing writer Bec
Our Morocco project has been fascinating and inspiring so far…
… with an incredible creative collaboration that’s allowed us to showcase the talented artisan women working hard to support their families and community. We are excited to share the full project with you, but in the meantime, we want to share a glimpse of what life has been like for The Boundless Edit team.
A typical day collaborating with co-operative women looks like this…
6am – The women are busy in the kitchen; preparing a feast for breakfast, baking bread in clay ovens and hanging clothes on a line propped between two sloping posts.
9am – We are lucky enough to share a table with the family, although tradition prevents them eating before us, so they pour our tea and encourage us to eat whilst watching on and making sure we’re satisfied. Surely the most hospitable culture some of us have experienced! Olives, olive oil, bread, home-made butter and marmalades, cakes, and of course, the traditional oily pancake that they refer to as Msemmen. They carefully assess which of the plates we enjoy most, mostly out of curiosity, but also to inform the next spread!
10am – At the Azrou co-operative, the women are already busy weaving. They communicate in their own unique language. They speak with their hands, weaving the wool between the strands of tightly pulled cotton ties. Technique was taught by movement, small and graceful. Watching the women weave is like watching them dance. Everything is intentional and practiced, quiet and calm.
12.00pm – The midday sun lights up the courtyard at the Marrakech Co-operative, and the women work through lunch to continue their precise hand painting of fine glassware. They delicately mix the colours on the thin wooden palette, achieving the perfect shade to match the template design. Accompanied by a loudly meowing cat, we explore each of the rooms filled with intricately designed ceramics.
2.30pm – The children from the village gather outside the co-operative, chatting and laughing amongst themselves, trying to get our attention for more photos. Some are shy, some are confidently calling out to us in French. In Morocco, children attend school in the morning and again in the afternoon, so a little later in the day and the same square is empty and quiet.
4pm – We’re interviewing the head of the co-operative, Fatima.
The four walls of her sitting room are painted a bright ocean blue, the colour reaches her face making her skin glow. We ask our questions, with the help from our amazing driver turned translator, Karim. But Karim has questions too, he asks Fatima ‘Why is it so important that she help people?’ her response makes him teary. All he can relay to us is ‘it’s very hard to find people like Fatima in Morocco’. Safe to say this was the best question of all.
7pm – We would walk the dirt roads to another family home, assuming this is where dinner would be served.
Instead we are served an elaborate spread with tea. It’s clear that the sweetened green tea brings everyone together. This is where we share some special and intimate moments. We witnessed the women becoming more relaxed with us, as we shared music from our culture, and they shared theirs. There is a familiarity that seems impossible, and yet it’s there, despite distance or culture. The experience of sharing tea and dancing to music is evidently universal. The confidence of the women emerges inside the homes, and we have this unique opportunity to connect with them without the bounds of language.
10pm – Dinner is served late by Australian standards, and not in any way smaller than a usual meal. The community culture is inherent by the way the women open up their homes and genuinely enjoy looking after guests; we can sense the honour in their hospitality. Being a host invokes much pride in the women. Nothing is too much trouble; Mashi Mushki!
Bec and the TBE Girls xx