“I want to reveal the usual things that go unnoticed and put my own twist on them”, says Moroccan photographer Anass Ouaziz.
The 26-year-old has long-found the sublime in the mundane—even before he became a serious photographer back in 2013. “I recall constantly capturing any moment that came my way for no particular reason”, he says.
Progressively, Ouaziz learnt to express the deepest parts of himself with his camera in hand. “It is how I unearth my genuine self”, he continues. He’s been strolling around neighbourhoods ever since, looking for the quiet moment, or person, to catch his eye.
Photographing serene moments of everyday life, his images feel inherently peaceful. Furtive, they are by no means autobiographical. They are genuinely personal and clearly come from a place of sensitivity and introspection. “I am trying to discover traces left by past generations and document the ones being created now”, he explains, discussing how he seeks to document the changing landscape of his home country.
It’s not always easy to find people keen of getting their photos taken in Morocco. Since colonial times, photography in the continent has been used to exoticise Africans. But as Ouaziz tries to gain trust from his subjects, he’s reclaiming their narrative, putting out an often overlooked reality of local life in Morocco—simple and tranquil but filled with remarkable moments of magic. Far from the sensationalist and stereotyped images of chaos and cacophony often associated with the region.
“My most memorable encounters have always been with elderly people, when asking them for a picture turns into a full length conversation, and I get the chance to bond and listen to their stories, and feel their wisdom”, he says. And what comes out from these seemingly insignificant moments is a celebration of the beauty of the everyday. The extraordinary in the ordinary.