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Prints for Prints Morocco - Indiegogo Supporter Perks

A HUGE thank you to my Indiegogo Prints for Prints Morocco campaign supporters!  I could not have made this project happen without you.

As part of your donation (depending on the level), you will receive a print from the selection below.  If nothing here strikes your fancy, feel free to browse my website and pick another image.

 #1 - A villager in Oulad Ali poses with her photo taken by a student in the Prints for Prints/Peace Corps workshop.

#1 - A villager in Oulad Ali poses with her photo taken by a student in the Prints for Prints/Peace Corps workshop.

 #2 - A view of the High Atlas mountains from Oulad Ali.   On the third day of the workshop, we took the students to this village to practice their photo skills as well as print and give images to people.

#2 - A view of the High Atlas mountains from Oulad Ali.   On the third day of the workshop, we took the students to this village to practice their photo skills as well as print and give images to people.

 #3 - A grove of olive trees in Outat El Haj.

#3 - A grove of olive trees in Outat El Haj.

 #4 - The beautiful Riad Andalib hotel in Fez.

#4 - The beautiful Riad Andalib hotel in Fez.

 #5 - The Medersa Bou Inania in Fez.

#5 - The Medersa Bou Inania in Fez.

 #6 - A silversmith in the souk (market) of Marrakech.

#6 - A silversmith in the souk (market) of Marrakech.

 #7 - A local cat strikes a pose in Chefchaouen.

#7 - A local cat strikes a pose in Chefchaouen.

 #8 - Cat plus blue = classic Chefchaouen photo 

#8 - Cat plus blue = classic Chefchaouen photo 

 #9  - One of the many alleys of the beautiful blue city of Chefchaouen.

#9  - One of the many alleys of the beautiful blue city of Chefchaouen.


Prints for Prints in Oulad Ali, Morocco


I was thrilled to be a part of an amazing photography workshop for teens a couple weeks ago in Outat El Haj, Morocco. Prints for Prints collaborated with the Peace Corps to put on a three day workshop covering basic photography techniques and history as well as incorporating the Prints for Prints mission. More background information on the workshop can be found here.

We had twelve enthusiastic and inspiring students and an amazing team of instructors, translators and support staff. The first two days were filled with presentations and discussions on the history of photography, examples of the different categories of photography, and hands-on exercises including a field trip to the local souk (market) and a Photoshop demo.

On Day 3 we loaded up two vans with our whole crew (including our two fabulous cooks!) and headed up to Oulad Ali, a small mountain village about 45 minutes outside of Outat El Haj. It was time to put Prints to Prints in action with the students! We were hosted at a lovely little gite (hostel) that catered mainly to tourists on mountain treks – it was a great home base while we explored the village.

We split up in to teams of 4-5 students, one Prints for Prints photographer and a translator and headed out into the village. Each team had a small point and shoot camera, which the students had been practicing with for the last couple days and a Canon Selphy portable printer. The students took turns approaching villagers and offering to take their portrait and printing a copy for them. Things started out a little slow but pretty soon word spread and we had a steady stream of great portrait subjects.

My favorite was Aicha, an elderly woman who my team met while she was returning to her home. After one of the students explained the project, she posed for a photo and received her print. I will never forget her reaction (thankfully translated by Tosca, one of the awesome Peace Corps volunteers). She looked at her print and said “I have no teeth but it’s still beautiful” and was just beaming. Then she decided we needed to meet her family member (granddaughter or great-grandaughter) who was a teacher at the school up the hill. It was truly a great day and so fun to see the students really embrace and use all the skills they had learned, while spreading the joy of photography and the printed image.

 Workshop students photography a village woman in Oulad Ali.

Workshop students photography a village woman in Oulad Ali.






A Visit to the Medina Children’s Library in Fez, Morocco

Before the Prints for Prints/Peace Corps photography workshop kicked off in Outat El Haj (more info on the workshop here), the Prints for Prints team spent a couple days in Fez.  Several weeks before I left for Morocco, I connected with Cathy Bellafronto and she mentioned that a children’s library had just opened in Fez (in the medina/old part of town).   Books and Kids are two of my favorite things, so I knew I would make it a priority to visit the library.   Before I left Portland, I popped in to Powell’s to pick up a few books to donate.

Cathy was out of town when I arrived in Fez, so I emailed the library and received a speedy response from Suzanna Clarke inviting me to visit the library.  After a few emails back and forth, my foggy jet-lagged brain made the connection that Suzanna was the author of “A House in Fez” – a great book that was gifted to me by a good friend for my birthday.  I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Fez – or renovating an old house!

The library is currently open 3 hours per day, mainly in the afternoon.  I (along with my Prints for Prints teammate Laura Moya) arranged to meet Suzanna on a chilly Thursday afternoon.   We arrived earlier than the 4 pm opening time since we had allowed for extra time to navigate the maze of the medina.    At 3:45 there was already a crowd of kids milling around the door.  The library had only been open for a few weeks but the word had clearly spread.   In fact, the library had to hire a guardian to manage the door and keep order.  Only 15 kids could be allowed in at a time due to space constraints and they could stay for an hour before the next group came in. 

Medina Library logo.jpg

The library is a wonderfully cozy space, with comfy carpet and a space heater.  The walls are lined with bookcases containing children’s books in English, French and Arabic.   Arabic books are in the highest demand.  I brought a few English books (including my favorite of all time – Where the Wild Things Are) but wished I had checked Powell’s for Arabic books as well.   

Safae Lahjouji, the librarian, watches over the kids with gentle authority, occasionally stepping in to help a child pick out books or remind the spirited boy that books are for reading, not hitting his brother over the head with.  The majority of children are girls and sit together in small groups but remain very intent on their reading.   I spent a huge amount of time in libraries growing up and it was really wonderful to see kids so interested in books and reading.  There are usually 1-2 volunteer storytellers every day as well.

Suzanna (who serves as the Treasurer) admitted she was surprised by the instant popularity and warm reception of the library by the community.  However, there aren’t many places for kids to hang out in the medina other than playing in the street – no playgrounds, community centers, boys and girls clubs, etc.   Most homes have few (if any) books and the library provides a safe, warm place to hang out – particularly in early February when it is quite cold in Fez.  

Plans are in the works to create a non-profit to manage donations and the administration of the library.  The library hopes to increase its supply of Arabic books and potentially move to a bigger space once funds allow.

You can find out more about the library on their facebook page: www.facebook.com/medinachildrenslibrary

And if you know anyone traveling to Fez, ask them to pack along a few children’s books to donate.  A visit to the Children’s Medina Library is a wonderful and unique experience.

Prints for Prints in Morocco!

In 3 weeks, I fly to Casablanca, Morocco!  I feel so fortunate to be part of this amazing Prints for Prints (PFP) team:  Joni Kabana (fearless leader and PFP founder), Stu Levy (B&W master photographer, educator and doctor), Laura Moya (Photolucida Executive Director) and Philippa Ribbink (doctor and avid PFP supporter).   Yeah, you could call that a dream team.   

Prints for Prints will be collaborating on a photography workshop for teens with the Peace Corps.  We will be working with The Ministry of Sports and Youth in Morocco and professional Morrocan photographers to hold a three day youth-focused workshop in Outat El Haj, a Peace Corps site located near the Middle Atlas mountains near Fes.  Our Peace Corps contact is Raul Guerrero, who is nearing the end of his Peace Corps service and also serves as the Project Director for The Disposables Project

During the workshop, the Prints for Prints team will teach basic photography skills and techniques, along with hands-on activities including operation of the Canon Selphy mini printers. On the last day of the workshop, the workshop team and students will visit a nearby villages with our makeshift studio and mobile printers to further the PFP mission of photographing individuals and families, then donating prints to those who do not have photographs of their loved ones.  Additional information on Prints for Prints can be found on our website: www.printsforprints.com.

After the workshop, I’ll be doing some travel and photography on my own for a week – current itinerary includes Fes, Chefchaouen and Tangiers before heading back to the US.   Any travel tips and recommendations would be great!

A huge thank you to everyone who donated to my Indiegogo fundraiser.  One of the ‘perks’ will be photo postcards of some of my instagram images from Morocco (via Postagram) – great little postcards with a 3x3 photo you can pop out and keep!   If you missed the fundraiser and want to help out and get a couple fun photo postcards, email me at hbinns@gmail.com

Also thank you to David Duchemin for donating two copies of each his books – Photographically Speaking and Within the Frame.  These will be the start of a resource library for photography at the Youth Center in Outat El Haj.

Be sure to follow my adventures on Instagram: @heathre and FB: Heather Binns

Prints for Prints celebrates the value of the photographic print in this disposable digital world.  

Hail to the Print!