Morocco for Le Monde d’Hermès

Marrakech may be more fashionable but it is the still-walled medieval medina of Fès that draws Sean Rocha back to Morocco.  His second visit to Fès, in 2008, was on an assignment for Le Monde d’Hermès to photograph (and write about) his interpretation of the House’s annual theme, which that year was ‘urban escapes.’  Instead of looking for a metaphorical escape from the city — a spa, a sanctuary, the natural serenity of a park — Sean set out to quite literally escape, by walking blind through the Fès medina without a map (not that a map would be of much use) and photographing whatever he discovered en route.  In truth, the layout of a medina is not nearly as complicated as it first appears: like water through the landscape, the conduits have evolved to allow the Fassi flow in and out of the city through the numerous gates pretty efficiently so, mostly, you follow their lead and trust in your destination.  But such is the power of Fès that even subsequent visits serve as a short, quick hit of the energy and sensation of place as there is probably nowhere else in the world with so great a cultural dislocation across so narrow a geographic divide as when crossing the Straits of Gibraltar.

Click here to see the tear sheets of the article about the Fès medina published in Le Monde d’Hermès in Spring 2009.  Some outtakes from that assignment are below, as well as photographs from other visits to Morocco.

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