Safaa Mazirh
Safaa Mazirh is born June 7th, 1989 in Rabat where she lives and works. A self-educated artist, she got acquainted to photography while participating in workshops given by the Fotografi’Art Nonprofit in Rabat that regroups several young photographers. Fascinated by the movement of the body on stage, she quickly starts to work on this theme for several theater troupes. From shows, Safaa Mazirh retained the art of staging by constructing a photographic theater in a few months of the real nourished with elements of her story and with a desire to express herself artistically. In this work, with subtly understood references, the body, evoked with dolls, or the physical body, shown as it is, occupies a central space. But it is a subject body that is evoked here. The body that becomes the instrument of a narrative, surpasses the obvious connection to the intimate, through a strong capacity to become oeuvre. Image after image, Safaa Mazirh constructs an unbelievable and striking artistic experience that in the end is elaborated in the interweaving of the real and of her dream.
“At first sight”, Bernard Millet writes, “the spectator can give into the evidence of an autobiographical practice. The image would then be the receptacle of a narrative, played by the artist herself, and buried in her procession of folly.” Here, we find self- portraits in hand-drawn scenery, drawings inspired by the symbols of Berber Amazighs female tattoos and signs, that a discerning eye will notice. But not only, and yet, let us consider them. Aside from their aesthetic and ornamental dimensions, they are also social signs indicating a status, even informative, of the signs and symbols utilized by the Berber Amazighs women to express a feeling. Later, Islam will forbid tattoos, considered mutilations of the “divine work,” in contradiction with the writings of the Coran. A pagan ritual: to engrave prayers in the flesh in order to bring back to oneself what we wish for, a protection. In Safaa Mazirh’s work, these monumentally scaled inks become scenery, architectures, they multiply and form infrastructures where her image is lodged. An image with blurred contours, sometimes almost ghostlike, indistinct. To live in a city is to live in cicatrices (sic Emile Aillaud). This sentence resonates with this work: what does it mean to inhabit? What does it mean to be at home? The body, that private place, participates in the process of the construction of an identity of a self, a symbolic work of staging where the drawing edifies walls specific to each of us. A confrontation of her image, forged and supported through multiple experiences; while this procedure brings us back to the past, the rearranged scenery is also a constant play of construction work, the modelization of her own structure that is always in movement. In the premises of this work, Safaa Mazirh surpasses the dreamt of projection so as to plunge in the shadow specific to the construction of each identity. Le bec en l’air

The Addis Foto Fest (AFF) was established in 2010 by award-winning photographer and cultural entrepreneur, Aida Muluneh. The festival is organized by Desta for Africa Creative Consulting PLC. AFF is a biennial international photography festival held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It has previously featured exhibitions, portfolio reviews, conferences, projections and film screenings in many different renowned venues. It is also the first and only international photography festival in East Africa.