This is the third installment of our weekly photo series, featuring the work of African photographers.
Vast, open spaces.
Blue skies riddled with an overlay of clouds.
Whether the roads, mountains, ocean or desert lie below, Moroccan photographer Zakaria Wakrim seeks to evoke the feeling of Amarg’—the Amazigh (Berber) word for ‘nostalgia’—through his photo series showcasing the landscapes of Southeastern Morocco.
“Amarg’ is also used to signify a hybrid form of musical poetry found in Southern Morocco,” he adds via email to Okayafrica. “Southeastern Morocco presents a strange combination of different kinds of empty spaces, huge and desolated, ranging from the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert.”
“Life is seldom found in these lands, which impart an almost metaphysical feeling, forcing one to conjure meanings or answers to their questions that will continue to remain as elusive as the very nature of these places themselves,” Wakrim continues.
Another element seen in Amarg’ is a person wearing a djellaba, an outfit typically seen in North Africa in places including Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
“There has always been a particular aura associated with the garment, and this series focuses on the pairing of a sort of mystical figure wearing the djellaba with the vast and boundless terrain over which he traverses daily,” he says.
For Wakrim, he wants those who see the photos in the Amarg’ series to know the desert’s ability to spark introspection and enlightenment.
“The extreme nothingness of these landscapes casts a spell upon those who visit them” he says. “Anyone who has known life in these silent realms is familiar with the feelings of solitude and desolation they bring; yet, they regard them with a certain happiness nonetheless. In this context, this feeling of happiness/nostalgia (or, wanderlust) relates to a sentimentality not for the past, but rather for those rare moments in which one can contemplate their pure self.”
Take a look at Amarg’ below, and check out more of Wakrim’s work on his website: