Nostalgia for the Present
Ethnography and Photography in a Moroccan Berber Village
Distributed for Leiden University Press
with Abdelkrim Bamouh
The result is an arresting portrait of everyday life in Tagharghist, a contemporary High Atlas village. The pictures are central, and the text built around them creates a dialogical form of visual ethnography. Nostalgia for the Present is both a memorialization of a people and a way of life, and a rich foray into the potential of interdisciplinary collaboration.
The photos in this book evoke a sense of nostalgia, a longing, and the words explore the contexts and ambiguities that vitalize it. As the book concludes, nostalgia happens in our present, and is about our future. It is a call from our heart (or our liver, as villagers would say) to attend carefully to something we are leaving, something our gut tells us we ought to cherish and preserve, and bring with us on our inexorable march into the unknown.
This book has been published with the support of the Centre Jacques Berque in Morocco.
Prologue: Fatima at Home
I. The Village
II. The Project
III. The People
IV. The Weight of the Past
Structures: Machines for Living
Epilogue: A Truck I No Longer Love