Thought & Story behind Photograph #1

Woman carrying bread in the Medina of Taza (Jerome Lorieau)

The photograph was taken in 2012 in the Moroccan city of Taza inside its Medina. The town is situated on the east side of Morocco between Fes and Oujda and easily accessible by train from both cities. Founded by the Merinides in the 12th century, the medina and its “grande mosquée” overlook the city giving a great view over it and the surrounding mountainous landscape. During my exploration of the Moroccan medinas, I often came across women and men carrying homemade bread to the baker to cook it in the traditional way. In this picture I found the wall’s texture and the repetition of forms in the background quite graphic and took the opportunity of a woman passing by to include her in the frame. I took only one shot, kneeling just enough to include her head. I wanted to keep the composition minimalist and graphic. I was after the place, its environment, the windows, the door and the forms. The lady had to be included in it but not overlap with any other shapes. There were not many places she could go. I could have completely missed the shot because I took it very quickly, kneeling as she was walking in front of me.
The fact that she was carrying bread is important. It added a true story to the photo, about people going about their everyday life. It illustrates a very ordinary scene of the Moroccan Medina’s life. If you take the bread out of the picture and it looses a part of its soul. The forms in the background create the balance, give information about the place and its architecture but it is really the lady and the bread that make the picture stand out.
If I had to describe the picture further, I would say that the bread’s dish is the only form which is not rigid. I think it unconsciously helps the photograph.