“Identity is not immutable, but growth and social changes can contribute to its evolution”.
This concept can refer to both the individual and collective communities with a common cultural heritage. The case of Morocco is particularly interesting because it is a various and heterogeneous country with very ancient traditions, but in recent years (since the rise of Mohammed VI in 1999) is experiencing very important changes. These transformations are affecting several aspects of the country: urban development, population growth, new infrastructure, creation of new cities (satellite towns), increasing investments in renewable energy, politic changes (constitution of 2011) , new foreign investments, etc.
Now, considering these various phenomena of change, it is necessary to go deeper within them in order to analyze the possible long-term effects on the country and its population. The economic and social situation is constantly changing; one of the most significant data is that almost 60% of the population resides in urban centres, and this trend is expected to rise; while rural areas are becoming less and less attractive for the young generation.
Through long term photographic and journalistic research we are trying to find out the possible consequences of what can be called “wave of modernization”. On the one hand, it is undeniable that the country will be able to benefit from this phenomenon. However, on the other hand it is necessary to analyze the effects from a cultural identity point of view; in other words, to see if the transformations will damage the cultural and historical traditions of the country. Pasolini, in his famous ‘Corsair Writings’, spoke of an “anthropological revolution” of the Italians caused by the economic boom; in the sense that this event had certainly brought greater prosperity with it, but in contrast, had upset some historical traditions of the country.
Will Morocco, therefore, enrich its cultural heritage without replacing it completely?
Stefano Miliffi – Born in 1990 in Lucca, Tuscany. Presently living in Berlin. His photography focuses on the concept of “Identity” to be found in the urban transformation and in the social changes resulting from it.