Wotcha, Ye Pilgrims of the 7th dimension & beyond! Here’s another Picture write up from your guide, The Pixgremlin, in the Land of Fez, continuing his time during the on going World Sacred Music Festival 2009.

 In some countries, taking a picture of a complete stranger can either be easy or a straight –forward challenge. If anything, the rule is try and seek permission before snapping. Only problem with that is the initial image you’ve composed in your mind ends up as a posed shot.  So, you just improvise with the situation.

World Sacred Music Festival

Since I speak sod-all of either French or Arabic, it all comes down to the semiotics of eye contact and sign language with the camera.  On some occasions you may get away with it:


And there are those instances where you just about get away with it:  (Look closely at this picture)

World Sacred Music Festival, H_kayan

Just in case you missed what I’m talking about, I’ve cropped in to the section where I had some guys up in arms (literally),  thinking I was taking pictures of them.

World Sacred Music Festival, H_kayan

So I’ve at least sussed this much out: Never take pictures of Mosques. Ever!

With this in mind, I decided to wander around before moving on to the music gigs. Just left of this image is the start of The Medina market.  Venture if you dare:


Most Fezians are ok with having their images in the shot, but just be cautious all the same. 


The first music gig of the day for me was of the Morroccan  Hip-Hop group, H-Kayne. The performance was a free event at the Bab Boujloud:

World Sacred Music Festival, H-Kayan

Finally made my way down to Bab El Makina for the evening performances. Since my ‘good friends’ security were being lovely (see picture below), I decided to shoot from the back & give my gear some TLC:


The evening gigs consisted of the Mevlevi/ Konya Sufi Brotherhood and the whirling dervishes. Since I didn’t manage to shoot the initial start, I just shot the mystical dance, known as the Sama:

World Sacred Music Festival

I’m not going to lie to you: I have no idea how long these guys can twirl and still remain upright for that long. I only stood there for about 5 minutes and I was feeling nauseous.

World Sacred Music Festival

There was 10 minute break for the second performance, a contemporary dance version of the Sufi roots by Ziya Azazi.


World Sacred Music Festival

Right. Stopping here for now. Will keep you pilgrims with the later performances!


One thought on “The Art (or Not) of Taking a Picture in Fez. (Day 3 at World Sacred Music Festival 2009)

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