Moroccan teacher Badr Allouche shares his personal sketchbook in an effort to inspire others to explore Morocco’s diversity and discover their own creative representations of life experiences.
Rabat – Badr Allouche, a Moroccan Arabic teacher in Rabat, sketches Morocco’s cultural diversity, revealing his personal journey through his home country and inspiring others to activate their creative senses.
Artists have long harnessed their creative skills as a way of seeing and sharing perspectives with the world. The unique representations of places and moments in time, captured through various art forms, establish reflexive memories and histories that outlive our individual existence.
The sketchbook illustrations offer a glimpse into Allouche’s unique understanding of the places he’s been, his emotions, and the stories connected to his art.
Drawing to inspire new perspectives and tolerance
Originally from Tiflet, Allouche explains that his travels throughout Morocco have given him a deeper appreciation of his home country. His artistic documentations have offered him the opportunity to pay closer attention to his surroundings and connect with his Amazigh (Berber) roots. As well, he says he has gained a critical understanding of Morocco’s cultural diversity.
Allouche told Morocco World News that he hopes his illustrations will inspire a wave of tolerance toward Morocco’s cultural and scenic diversity and places. He cautions that people and places are easily misunderstood by those who have never had the opportunity to connect with them. Ideally, his sketches of Morocco might motivate others to travel and record their own unique experiences.
“I want people to feel encouraged to visit the places and live the experiences that inspired me to draw these pictures — and to share their own stories about Morocco’s diversity. The more they know, the more they learn that they need to learn more.”
He adds that each person has their own ways of expressing their experiences and life worlds. “I’m not good at expressing myself in writing,” he said. “Some people can draw a perfect picture using words but I’m not that kind of person — so I draw. I can express a lot of those things via drawing.”
Allouche, 31, began drawing when he was six years old.
Growing up, he developed his hobby by illustrating his favorite football players and creating a dictionary of world flags. As Allouche grew older, drawing became a way to capture moments he wished to share with friends and family in the absence of a camera.
Now, with the option of photography through his phone’s camera, Allouche maintains his preference for pens, pencils, and paper. He believes time and energy dedicated to drawing elicits a personal narrative that creates a special bond between generations.
“My idea is to draw as many pictures of Morocco as possible – because when I have kids, I want them to see the country through my eyes, through these drawings. It could be a way for them to return to these places and explore their father’s land.”
Allouche’s collection of sketches is not only a keepsake to inspire a deeper understanding of Morocco and preserve his own vision, but an opportunity to detox from the distractions of technology. Drawing urges a different sense of vision that requires a more attentive approach to experiencing something.
“I hope this encourages people to draw more. We’ve been so attached to the internet and social media and we need to go back and find ways to live our lives without them. Drawing, writing, handcrafts — whatever gets you going in creative ways.”
Allouche’s creative talent preserves a piece of today’s Morocco and urges others to use their imagination to discover Morocco in coloring-book form.
“I like to leave room for imagination. When you sketch in black and white, you can allow other people to fill in the blanks. When you put in colors you take away some of that. Sketching is not a perfect copy of what you’re drawing. It’s ambiguous enough for people to really imagine and see it through your eyes.”