April Chronicle by Nada Gambier, Celeste Perret & Vlio Velema

| tag: Essaouira

On writing consciously unconscious

LOCATION: The lounge of a riad in Essaouira, Morocco

Tutor G, our guest for the day, is sitting on the edge of his chair, excitement running through
his veins. “There is an untold story if we look to fabrics”! he says.
Tutor L nods in firm agreement.
The rest of the group is playing catch up. After about a week in Essaouira the tired minds
and bodies are starting to struggle. On the screen that sits in a cupboard an embroidered
radio appears. This is music like no other! From revolt to revolution to time passing and
minds bending, stitches weave the story forwards and backwards in time. We are here but
we are also elsewhere. The weaving is still very partial and a little slow. 

LOCATION: The rooftop of a riad in Essaouira, Morocco

“So, I thought we could do some stop motion footage today”. IR is talking fast as they always
do. Enthusiasm for it all. No time to waste. Urgency palpable. N wonders how they ever get
any sleep. This much energy must wear out at some point. People in the group have
downloaded apps on their phones that should enable them to try out animation making. I
suppose you all know how stop motion works? And how many frames you need? How it
works basically?, says IR. Everybody nods except N so IR agrees to briefly explain. Holding
N’s phone, IR says, you press here and here and here. Ok it’s pretty simple. But you can’t do
it all here. I thought you could. Oh wait, you can press here and here and copy and paste and
there you go. 

Indeed, off N goes. Quick before she forgets it all!
Around them, cyanotype prints from the beach dry in the wind. They were V’s idea. These
student-led proposals are fantastic. They relate to the process but they also always bring in
a fresh angle. Learning from each other is such a rich experience! 

LOCATION: Eastern beach Essaouira, Morocco

LOCATION: Medina market Essaouira, Morocco

LOCATION: Anarchist café outside the medina in Essaouira, Morocco

Walls covered by militant slogans and politically sensitive paraphernalia. By the door, the
work of Cuban artist Erik Ravelo depicts children on the backs of different figures, the
McDonalds clown, the pope, a military general…The children are positioned like Jesus on the
cross with their faces smothered to become unrecognizable and anonymous, the cross
being the adults with their arms outstretched. Like crime scene photos. The project Los
Intocables (The Untouchables) was designed to make a point about the state of childhood
globally, denouncing abuses and injustices. These are difficult images to look at. 
On the terrace our little group has gathered and is meticulously going through each person’s
practice. The noise from the traffic drowns a lot of the information. Words dance in the hot
air. Prostitution, poetry, imagining the world otherwise, signals and frequencies… Children
returning home from school. Buses arrive and leave. Motorcycles buzz past. After today we

realize we are making a film without equipment. N likes to think of it as making a film
without film. What does that mean? Where will it take us? We are slowly sinking into the
process oriented mode, more sensitive to what the moment brings. Things slow down,
settle. The tea is getting cold but the imaginations around the table are finally starting to

Scene description of by Nada Gambier, illustrations by Vlio Velema and noise tracks by Celeste Perret & Nada Gambier.