In Ait Hamza, a village in the Middle Atlas region of Morocco, the women from the local weaving cooperative gather in the home of an artisan who has just given birth to a healthy baby boy. The mother and here newborn rest in the next room while the rest of the women enjoy kraskrout, a traditional afternoon 'snack' (typically consisting of mint tea and a variety of fresh bread with recently-pressed olive oil or jam) and that can happen spontaneously among several people or, as seen here, in celebration of a major event.
This photo was taken as part of the project entitled ' UNTANGLING THREADS: Female Artisans in Morocco's Rug Weaving Industry.' In Morocco, where men are responsible for almost all of their country's artisanal production, women have maintained the age-old craft of indigenous weaving.
The project seeks to document the environment and culture of female workers who have recently begun to participate in local and global markets. It specifically focuses on artisans from three weaving communities: Ain Lueh, Ait Hamza, and Taznakht. While the carpets are generally sold for high-dollar amounts, the female artisans have traditionally received a small percentage of profits. This has perpetuated the cycle of poverty and child labor in rural Morocco.
The weaving cooperatives documented in this project are now self-promoting and making direct sales rather than relying on middlemen to distribute their carpets. These photographs aim to highlight the forces behind the production, and the market forces that bring these products to the world.
Anna Beeke is a freelance documentary and events photographer based out of Brooklyn, NY. She is a graduate of the International Center of Photography's Photojournalism and Documentary Photography certificate program and is currently pursuing her MFA at the School of Visual Arts. Anna's work was selected to be included in "reGeneration2: tomorrow's photographer's today," a book and exhibition curated by the Musee de L'Elysee which will travel internationally from 2010-2015. She was also selected as a 2009 participant in the Eddie Adams Workshop and a recipient of the too much chocolate + Kodak film grant. Anna's work has been exhibited internationally. Her portfolio may be viewed at www.annabeeke.com, and www.highpassproductions.com.