Espectros de Marruecos
Specters of Morocco
Performance, 25 min, 2020
Performers: Ali El Aziz and Adrian Schindler
Scenography and costumes: Claire Chassot
Assistant dramaturg: Alba Sanmartí Masdeu
The performance proposes to make contact with the ghosts and fantasies that the Spanish colonial gaze has produced on Morocco over the last centuries and to question their persistence nowadays. The text meanders between times, geographies and literary genres, including excerpts of archival documents, news, reminiscences of my research in northern Morocco and insights of actor Ali el Aziz’ professional experience in Spain. During the course of the lecture, the performers convoke a range of stereotypes about the Moroccan Other (the so-called “Moros”) that still pervade Spanish society, as well as historical figures (romantic writer Pedro de Alarcón and general Prim), an orientalist sculpture, an anonymous Spanish soldier on its way to the Rif War and a Moroccan teenager met at the gates of the Ceuta enclave. The voices and viewpoints shift along the performance, at times bringing into light uncomfortable positions, while the relation of the performers slowly evolve –their bodies and gazes avoiding or confronting each other, but ultimately also sharing complicity. Through different ways of talking about and embodying the past, the work approaches entangled contemporary questions such as racism, exoticism, migration and tourism, while exploring the performative qualities of distance and proximity.
As part of the festival "The Opposite Of Fatalism" curated by Antoine Marchand and Jeremiah Day, Centre d'art Le Lait, Albi, 26 September 2020. Photos by Phœbé Meyer. Following images: First site-specific version at the loading docks of the National Archive of Catalonia, curated by Centre d'Art Maristany, Sant Cugat, January 2020. Photos by Eva Carasol.