Rabat! Our home-base city, despite a fair amount of travel. I am beginning to love it.
A few interesting places:
First of all, of course, the medina:
The medina, or old city, which is where my host family lives, is dazzling array of leather and metal goods, lanterns and clothing, jewelry and tea sets, the latest brand-name fashion… knock-off converse and ray-ban sunglasses; still shimmering fish; baskets of figs; carts full of bread; rugs laid out in the sun; fruits piled high; giant melons; kids shelling mussels; thin breads cooking on the tiny stoves; vats of syrup for frying the sweet desserts eaten during Ramadan... a veritable cacophony of sensations, all, of course, punctuated by the noise of people navigating the packed and winding streets, tourists and locals alike. Capturing the actual sense of being there remains an elusive goal. Have, instead, a few snapshots:
A brief vist to the Institute for African Studies, part of Mohammad V University:
A potter's studio we were lucky enough to visit:
I even tried my hand at the wheel! Semi-pathetic but ah well:
Here, some sketches of folks in the (totally great) national library, about a half-hour walk from the Medina, and at an outdoor film festival – which happened to take place right outside the library one night. They lay down rugs in front of the screen, as if they were grass, for people to lounge on, which I found kind of hilarious and awesome. The film festival itself was also pretty great: on (mostly sub-Saharan) migration, an current issue in which Morocco plays a big part, situated as it is as the point of Africa closest to Europe. I found the portrayals sympathetic, and important, and I found the crowd watching to be very mixed, but with a young, hip vibe to it. Overall: cool scene.
À la prochaine,
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<p>Luna Beller-Tadiar is a rising Sophomore at Yale University with strong interests in critical race, class, gender and sexuality studies, subaltern forms of life, art, and language. She loves all forms of the arts (including the martial ones!), and is constantly sketching in restaurants and dancing along city streets. She believes in understanding everything intersectionally, and is excited for the classes she will be taking on Moroccan history and literature to inform her experience and observations both written and sketched of Rabat!</p>