Profiling Photographers: Yassine Alaoui Ismaili

The 1942 film Casablanca wasn't even filmed in Morocco, it was filmed in a Hollywood studio. Casablanca is Morocco's largest city, a place known for its cultural diversity. Urbanisation has influenced the city enormously, which creates stark moments of contrast. 

Yassine Alaoui Ismaili (also known as Yoriyas) was born and raised in Casablanca. His latest series "Casablanca Not the Movie" aims to give an authentic view of the city, at street level, where a variety of diverse cultures converge.

Through Yassine's lens, Casablanca comes to life in its rich colours and sun-bleached streets, and through intimate and often unusual portraits of its inhabitants. His images have a strong perspective: a group of suited teens listen to the music of a local hip hop artist, three men squeeze onto a small bench in the city. Shots of the city show a mixture of new and old, modernity and tradition; intricate ancient architecture stands next to bone-white modern buildings, along with piles of rubble on the outskirts. 


The series spans across the city, from the areas popular with tourists, to the wealthy seaside commune of Ain Diab and Yassine's own neighborhood in Hay Moulay Rachid, which he characterises as one of the most dangerous. It's still his favourite part of the city: "It's full of creative people, especially the kids. It's the source of hip hop culture in Morocco— it is a place with a lot of good break dancers and MCs."

Discover more here.

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