Join us on Monday, November 8 at 7pm for an artist talk and Q&A session with M'hammed Kilito about his latest photography projects, Among You and Hooked to Paradise. This event has limited seating, so RSVP to secure your spot!
This project reflects the choices around personal identity for Moroccan youth. Through a selection of portraits, Kilito documents young people who take their destinies into their own hands. These individuals have the courage to choose their own realities, often pushing the boundaries of what is socially acceptable. Whether through their creative activities, their appearance, or their sexuality, they convey the image of a young Morocco - alert, changing, claiming the right to be different and celebrating diversity.
These young people, whose minds embody the resistance of a palm tree - a tree adapted to the harshest Moroccan climatic conditions - defy the conservative and traditional norms with regard to individual freedoms of Moroccan society on a daily basis. They cultivate their private oasis despite the obstacles they encounter in a country that they feel is not progressing at the same pace as they are, and they are inspiring others along the way.
Hooked to Paradise
This project is an ongoing and long-term photographic series highlighting the complex and multifaceted issue of nationwide oasis degradation in Morocco and its impact on its inhabitants.
Located in an arid and hostile environment, the oasis constitutes an original ecosystem, based on the right balance of three elements: the abundance of water, the quality of the soil and the presence of date palms whose parasol-like foliage creates a real microclimate. For several decades, this delicate balance no longer exists and these islands of greenery in the middle of the desert are facing the impacts of destructive human activities and climate change. They are threatened with extinction. Specialist and NGOs have been sounding the alarm to alert leaders and political actors to initiate and save what can still be saved.
"In 2016, I visited the Tighmert oasis for the first time, where I formed strong ties with its inhabitants. I was able to apprehend this rich environment but also its glaring realities. Desertification, recurrent droughts and fires, changes in oasis agricultural practices, urban migration, and a sharp drop in the water table are among the imminent threats to the existence of oases.
This project was born out of the urgency and collective demand to change this localized environmental issue and to improve the situation in which the oasis inhabitants live. I decided to work on this project to highlight these multiple concerns rarely covered by the media and largely unknown to the general public."
About the Artist
Moroccan photographer M'hammed Kilito focuses on capturing narratives that are embedded in understanding the relationship between his collaborators and their environments, by covering issues related to cultural identity, the sociology of work and climate change. In 2021, M'hammed was selected by the Ateliers Medicis to take part in the national photographic commission of Regards du Grand Paris. In 2020, M'hammed co-founded KOZ, a collective of four Moroccan visual artists working on long term projects and sharing a passion for storytelling. The same year, he was designated by the British Journal of Photography among the 18 best emerging photographers from across the globe to watch, was selected as a 6x6 Global Talent by World Press Photo, became a National Geographic Explorer, received The Photography Prize of the Fondation des Treilles and won the Prize for The Contemporary African Photography.
His work has been shown at festivals and venues including Sharjah Art Foundation (Sharjah), Tate Modern (London), PhotoESPAÑA Festival (Madrid), National Museum of Photography (Rabat), Photo Vogue Festival (Milan) and Breda Photo Festival (Breda). His photographs have been featured in magazines and newspapers such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The British Journal of Photography, Monopol, L'Express and El Pais.