Thursday, 9 July 2009

Li Lu-Porter: Gnawa Photo~Expedition

Photo © Li Lu-Porter -All Rights Reserved

Photo © Li Lu-Porter -All Rights Reserved

Photo © Li Lu-Porter -All Rights Reserved

I organized the Gnawa (or Ganoua) Photo Expedition in late June, which was joined by a number of talented full-time and part time photographers, whose principal objective was to photograph the legendary Gnawa musicians during the 12th Essaouira Music Festival.

This is the second of a series of posts which showcase a sample of the participating photographers' work, and is by Li Lu-Porter, a Senior Program Manager with Microsoft in Seattle. While Li frequently travels the world on business and pleasure, including to South Africa on a learning tour for a NGO, this was her first photographic trip. As demonstrated by her photographs, she is passionately embracing photography. She uses a Canon 30D with EF 28-135 IS lens.

One of the highlights of the expedition was attending the various "lilas" (nightly performances) at the zaouia of Sidi Billal, and participate in the clapping and even dancing. During one of the performances, Li and I were told that if we continued to photograph, our cameras would be "confiscated" by an administrator since we had no press passes. Taking umbrage at the rather harsh tone, we opted to leave (after getting our money back), and headed for the concerts in Bab Marrakesh...a more than adequate consolation prize!