Mous Lamrabat: I think it was 2008… wow that’s 12 years ago. I saw a documentary by French photographer JR titled 28 Millimetres. The day after, I decided to ask my oldest brother Mohammed for his camera which he bought from a flea market. It was an old analogue Nikon camera that I still use today. I have no idea what my first picture was, probably just a picture of my sisters or brothers.
MB: I was always interested in fashion. I mean, not in like designer clothing, but more in having my own style. I was very into Hip Hop when I was young, and I was already looking for my own “flavor” of style at a young age.
I love doing interior design and it still interests me a lot, but it just takes so long to create something inside the field. I chose photography because it’s a fast medium with fast results, but now I realize that that’s not enough for me either. In the future I want to focus a bit more on installations.
MB: I think I started mixing the two when I started looking for my own DNA. I didn’t know which one to choose. Should I go more towards the West and do fashion photography like everybody else, or should I start shooting more documentary-style photos in places that are close to me like Morocco? After a long period of thinking I decided I didn’t want to choose between the two! So, I just did both, simply because I love doing both.
MB: Free, real, and easygoing.
MB: A lot of times in my work I look for solutions to the problems that I see or that occupy my mind. Sometimes these problems are political, other times they’re personal. And if by “subjects” you mean people, then almost all the people you see in my work are people that are quite close to me, friends and family. It’s much easier that way because I am free to just focus on my work without wondering if the person is ok with what I’m doing. You might think, “Why would you care what they think?” Well, I really do. I really want good vibes when I’m working.
MB: Well, I hope it works both ways. We as Arabs/North Africans/Muslims are not represented in a good way. So yeah, I want to show a new side of us that is new for the West, and maybe even to ourselves. Putting all these different cultures together attracts a bigger audience because a lot of different minorities and majorities recognize something familiar in the images. So, when I have an exhibition, I really enjoy seeing all these cultures, colors, and ages coming together for something that I created for them. It makes me feel like a kid with divorced parents trying to get them back together.
MB: Um, yeah! In this day and age, most artists get discovered through social media. Right? Social media can spread content really fast because the whole world is connected. I love all these social media platforms, but we must also be careful not to lose ourselves in them. We need to influence people and not try to make them jealous. We need to realize that because of social media there are more and more people who are depressed and unhappy. So, if you have influence, think twice of how you can affect people. I feel like there is so much uniformity in how people act and behave, so many of the same person. Just be yourself and you already have a much bigger chance of standing out!