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TRENDSETTERS: AOUATEFE LAHMANI - an interview

A series about young Moroccans, born and raised outside Morocco, connecting back to their roots! Setting a trend.  
We are curious about them, about their life choices and about the role model they are.   
                    
expat interview Aouatefe Lahmani

An interview with:

Aouatefe Lahmani - actress and film director who lives between Paris and Marrakech

                    
article by Marlène Pauly more articles by Marlène HERE
English only

 

Tell us a bit about yourself 

I was born in Besançon, grew up in Alsace, studied theatre in Paris.  I was raised by A mother of Meknes and lived in Spain, Portugal and Morocco ... 
In short  I am a citizen of the world with heaven as a roof.
Coming from a modest single-parent family and a neighbourhood called 'sensitive' in France.  A girl of immigrants in France and a zmégria (Moroccan living in France) in Morocco ,WITH an accent...

I was told that I was a little too dreamy and that I had to keep my feet on the ground because for me it 'just' was all about wanting to make films. 
I say 'just', but trying to make a film is hard, both physically and morally.  It leaves traces and indelible scars especially in the heart ... 


In spite of it all I decided to make cinema, to be an actress and even be a little crazy.  I realise this too.  Remaining proud of my roots and without ever forgetting where I come from, my origins, my principles, my values.   ​​These are my greatest gifts.  

This choice in life, I think, saved me, my destiny.  The choice to be an actress.
The choice to live MY life.  To live, period!
 

On the other hand, it feels there was no other option,  there was the urge inside me all the time.  And this journey has made me who I am today.
 

What was it that made you decide to connect back to your roots?

Moroccan film! It made me come to Morocco and return to my origins.
It was after participating in the Marrakech film festival 4 years ago, where I met cinema professionals who convinced me that they were looking for profiles like mine.  To make it short, I took my suitcases, I put them in the car and I took the road to Marrakech.  
With great enthusiasm, passion and hope.
 

What did you learn by moving and living in Morocco.  Something that you would love to see, experience more of in the country of your childhood.

The most important thing I learned when I came to Morocco is on a personal level.  I learned a lot about myself and my identity.  As I said I am considered an immigrant in France and a 'Zmégria' in Morocco and I did not  expected nor realised this before.  I wrote a web series called "Zmégria" and I hope to turn the pilot in Morocco soon, inchallah.
 
I learned to understand the language, the culture, the customs and the songs with more depth.

What I became aware of in Morocco and what I want to see more in France is Moroccan cinema, the talented Moroccan cinema, I want to see Moroccan films in theaters in France, Moroccan actors in French films, because there is so much talent in Morocco.

What is the most important life experience from the country you grew up that you wished you could share in Morocco.

In France I studied theatre, French language, culture, cinema.  I was born and I grew up in France, I'm built and forged in France.
What I want to share in Morocco is more access to culture and cinemas.  I wish it to become part of every day life.
  
 

How and where do you see your future, both professional and private.

I see myself making movies, found a family, make my loved ones proud of me and do humanitarian projects  between Morocco and France.



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Valentine's Day


Valentine from Morocco

Happy Valentine from us to you!

Shine bright as a star today

                    



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AFTER THE STORM - Essaouira


Essaouira storm
Leven bij de Oceaan is bij uitstek onderhevig zijn aan de natuur.
Een impressie een dag nadat er een verwoestende storm overtrok!
                    
article by Marlène Pauly more articles by Marlène HERE
English down


Life in a coastal town, close to the Atlantic is being exposed to the power of nature, more than anywhere else.
An impression a day after a devastating storm passed!
Essaouira storm
Essaouira storm
Essaouira storm

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HOLIDAY IN MOROCCO - a Sunday trip to Essaouira


travel morocco - Essaouira
If you come to Essaouira and you are a lover of flea markets, then ensure your trip to this beautiful little seaside town includes a Sunday.  The souk El Had or The Joutia is an open air trash and treasure market on steroids, with overflowing secondhand stalls mixing with fruit and veg and artworks in one big, crowded melee.  If you intend on purchasing then hone your bargaining skills and come prepared to haggle for your chosen items.  You may find yourself taking home some unique souvenirs along with fabulous memories.
                    
article by Kate Woods more articles by Kate HERE
Nederlands onder


Als je van plan bent om naar Essaouira af te zakken, ( TUI vliegt tussen juni en oktober rechtstreeks vanaf Brussel!) en je houdt van rommelmarkten en 'extravagantia', maak dan zeker een uitstapje naar de zondag markt, ook wel gekend als 'de Joutia'.  Dit kleine visserstadjes bij de Atlantische Oceaan is op zondag één grote openlucht schatkamer waar tweedehands kramen afwisselen met fruit en groenten, overstock kledij vanuit Europa en er is zelfs de speciale afdeling 'kunst', waar minder en meer bekende artiesten zoals Ben Ali en Azeddine in hun kleine gammele ateliertjes u graag verder helpen.
Een uniek moment om op een unieke plaats je kunst collectie uit te breiden.  En een moment bij uitstek om je een local te voelen.

travel morocco - Essaouira
travel morocco - Essaouira
travel morocco - Essaouira


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HOMESTYLING IN NEUTRAL TONES

coco-morocco styling consultancy
decorating a Beldi kitchen with polished cement counter top. Grey and neutral work very well together.
                   
article by Marlène Pauly more articles by Marlène HERE
English down



Sommigen van u zijn al op de hoogte, op dit moment werken we met man en macht om een oud 'Beldi' huis op het Berber platteland net buiten Marrakech om dit om te stylen naar ons eigen huis / showroom.  Het is een droom die uitkomt om dit te realiseren.  (het is een oud traditioneel huis met een lange checklist wat betreft: moet gebeuren/wil ik dat er gebeurt).  Het huis wordt een mengeling van eigen creaties en van spullen van al de hippe ontwerpers die zich rond Marrakech en Essaouira hebben gevestigd. Het wordt ook een platform voor exposities en interieur workshops.

Het doel is om een basisinstelling met veel neutrale tinten te creeëren die tegelijk helemaal van hier zijn. Denk aan Etnisch en Marokaans met veel natuurlijk hout, rotan, palmblad en natuurlijke leer tinten.

Kleur komt er van de tentoongestelde objecten van de kunstenaars. Terwijl alles nog moet worden geschilderd, kan ik me er niet van weerhouden om al te stylen.. In de loop van de komende weken zullen jullie zeker de werken kunnen volgen en hier is een eerste preview en een deel van mijn zeer lange wishlist :)!

coco-morocco styling consultancy
the stairs to our house in polished cement. I'm thinking of painting the whole house in brilliant white. It will be a statement but I have a feeling it will look stunning with all these neutrals. Another colour that is my favourite lately is blue in all it's shades..
coco-morocco styling consultancy
the floors are chocolate brown and very traditional. I think it will be a challenge but one that I'm willing to take to keep a link to tradition.
Some of you might know it already, but right now we're full up with turning an old Beldi home at the Berber countryside outside Marrakech into our own home/showroom.  It's a dream come true and I'm so excited both in having a project going on with a challenge, (it's an old traditional house with a long checklist on must/want to's) and buying stuff from all these great designers around Marrakech and Essaouira AND at the meantime being a platform for expositions from creative talent around.

The goal is to make a basic setting with lots of neutral tones that make it a the same time very ethnic and right on spot in this countryside.
Colour comes from all the decoration that will be shown by the local artists.  While everything still needs to be painted, I can't stop myself from starting to decorate already.  We will sure give you updates during the coming weeks but here is a first preview and a part of a very long wishlist :)!
coco-morocco styling consultancy
We will have a 3m long table in wood. I found this runner at a local market and just had to have it. I sooo love the wash off colour of it!
coco-morocco styling consultancy
Another treasure are these cups in the colours I want to dress the house in....no Marrakech pink here :)
coco-morocco styling consultancy
one of the items that is ordered! A huge dromadaire of 'Pascale mets les voiles' in recycled fabrics in green, blue and orange!
coco-morocco styling consultancy
not sure where I want it yet but this piece is sooo on my 'want' list! a fairytale like artwork of talented Martine Bigot. I think it would look stunning behind the bed...What do you think?
coco-morocco styling consultancy
this 'thing' I found by accident. A cage to keep a hen. My first impression was : a lamp! So that's what it will be! decorated with white transparent linen.
one of the beautiful masks of Isla Yemaya, made in Essaouira.



 

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