Polska, elle m’inspire: Moroccan photographers discover Poland all around them

Eternalised with Moroccan up-and-coming photographers’ photos, Poland’s national colours fill Rabat’s artistic Café Cinema Renaissance — the host of the “Polska, elle m’inspire” photography competition exhibition.

Organised by the Polish Embassy in Rabat, the goal of the competition was to motivate Moroccan photographers to learn more about Poland and discover its presence also in their most immediate environment. Meanwhile, the task before entrants was to communicate their understanding of the Polish spirit, “Polishness” if one wills, and their knowledge of the country’s culture.

And so, the majority of some 40 entries centred on the Polish national colours. One can see a bed of white-and-red flowers, a portrait of a Moroccan-Polish couple, a group of children holding a Polish flag in a faraway village in the Atlas Mountains.

The winning photo taken by Imad-Eddine Bouaamri draws the beholder straight into red sunset at sea with overarching white clouds. The second award went to Ayoub Zmaiouch with his photo attesting to one daring Moroccan man’s gumption who decided to fly Poland’s national colours having climbed the mast of a trawler moored at the port of Casablanca. Perhaps deserving the most praise because of the preliminary research, Zakaria Kounima earned third place with his flat-lay composition of Moroccan farqas biscuits and three books by renowned Polish writers: Józef Konrad Korzeniowski (Joseph Conrad), Witold Gombrowicz and Ida Fink.

All three laureates received attractive awards in the form of photography equipment, while the rest of the top photographers were given books on Polish history and culture.

The jury comprised Poland’s Ambassador to Morocco Krzysztof Karwowski, Polish photographer and ambassador of Olympus Arcadius Mauritz, and acclaimed Moroccan photographer Hamza Lafrouji, also known as Psycho Mustache.