Ymane Fakhir


Ymane Fakhir’s work is inscribed in an extensible territory, building bridges between France and the Mediterranean area, particularly with her native Morocco. Her photographs explore the question of feminineness, pointing to the dichotomy between private and public spaces, with an obvious relationship to the normative dimensions of social conventions in the Arab/Muslim world. Her work emphasizes the fact that despite a growing willingness from Arab and Muslim societies to embrace and achieve some sort of western-type modernness, many ancient social and anthropological rituals and phenomena remain.

The series Un ange passe tells the story of a Moroccan wedding, depicting a world of colours and reflecting an imaginary universe in which both the married couple and the guests become actors. It is all about cosmetics and theatrics, seduction and parade. As the bride walks to and from, each time with a different gown on, with different make-up and accessories, the guests stop eating or talking to gaze at the show presented before them.

The orchestra’s music fills the room as the guests applaud and scrutinize the married couple on their way to the elevated couch where they are to be exposed to the eyes of all present.

They smile faintly and nod their heads at the negafats, professional maids specialising in nuptial decorum, and constantly readjust their clothes, tell them how to sit and stand, and even how to properly hold each other’s hand. The negafats monitor everything the married couple does. This is the most important day in the life of a young Arab woman. Each of them has been raised in the cult of marriage as the apex of existence. On her wedding day, she is both a queen and an object part of a family show.


b. 1969, Casablanca, Morocco

Lives and works in Marseille, France. Ymane Fakhir’s practice of photography is one that merges documentary processes and fictional ventures. In recent years she has also turned to short films. Her videos focus on one action seen in its whole duration and are to be seen as blocks of reality, moments of pure humanity. Her works have been shown in numerous exhibitions both in France and abroad, particularly during the ground-breaking Africa Remix exhibition which travelled around the world from London to Düsseldorf, from the Centre Pompidou in Paris to Tokyo, from Johannesburg to Oslo. Recent exhibitions include: Taking Care, FRAC, Marseille (2013) • Ici, Ailleurs, Friche la Belle de Mai, Marseille-Provence 2013 European Capital of Culture (2013) • Pierre qui roule…, Etemad Galerie, Dubai (2013) • galerieofmarseille, Marseille (solo, 2012). She was also selected for festivals like Norderlicht photofestival in Holland and the Bamako Biennial.