In the summer of 2012 I got to spend a few weeks in Morocco as part of my graduate program. I wrote some posts about that. I made a short video on an NGO project with two of my classmates and attended a great deal of the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music.
While I was there I took a lot of pictures and filmed a lot of things. I didn’t adequately back everything up, but around 60G of video has been sitting on my external hard drive for nearly two years now. Much of it is either interview footage for that NGO video or video from the festival that I’m not sure what to do with since I couldn’t begin to tell you who is performing in those videos.
Sufi Nights were my favorite parts of the festival. Somewhere in a paper I wrote for my professor that no other eyes will ever see, I talked about the divide between the lavish paid portions of the festival and the free concerts, which were generally more grounded in “sacred music.” It has been so long now that my memory of it all has been reduced to a strange, hazy blur of linguistic hurdles. (I had to have nearly every interview summarized for me after we left, due to my linguistic ineptitude.) All of that being said, I remember feeling something palpable and powerful about being allowed to join an experience like that.
I have all these videos of that and they’re nice to have, but they feel too intimate to share. I don’t expect to do much of anything with them besides watch them in the occasional fit of nostalgia until one day they don’t get backed up and then that, too, will be relegated to what memory can hold.
Still, that’s a lot of video and it assumes an awful lot of available time. There’s something to be said for the process of making a scrapbook – even if you never revisit it – the time you took to reflect in order to assemble has its own merit and worth.
If you do dust it off and show it to others, it can be a quick way to let them absorb some part of a time in your life. Here are some of the visuals that I remember from that time. In sharing these sights we get to know each other some small fraction better than we did before.
Consider this that. Two minutes of sights and sounds that conjure a host of memories for me and which hopefully show you a little something of this thing I did once. An experience I once had. A person I once was.
Not featured: cats. So many cats, so little video.
Fes Festival of World Sacred Music 2012
Friday, June 8, 2012
Tribute to Omar Khayyâm
Directed by Tony Gatlif
I have some photos from the trip on Flickr, if you’re interested.