Tannery Fez

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Tannery Fez

On the roofs of the Chouara Tannery in Morocco, a porter brings the skins from the pools. He climbs the high steps to the tannery roofs in order to lay out the skins. I can hear his breath from afar. Between two convoys of this exhausting work, we share a smile, a handshake and an assalamu alaykum. After a moment, he takes a break with me and tells me this local adage: «Dar dbagh, dar dhab», the tannery is a goldmine. As with many tanners in Fez, he learnt the job from his father and is very proud to work here. Yet, his eyes and his body seem to tell me something else. Is he tired of his life? I dare not ask him: it is probably a complete fabrication on my part. But, when he starts his work again and I take this photo and feel a painful loneliness.

Arthur Thouret

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