new normal

May 4, 2022

Born in Morocco and raised in Belgium, Mous Lamrabat‘s photographs are an eye-popping fusion of his Arab heritage and the Western symbols he grew up with. Think models dressed in Gucci djellabas and superhero burkas. “As a child of first generation immigrants, there is always a point in your life where you feel like you don’t fit in anywhere; not in the country you were born in nor in the country you were raised in,” says Lamrabat. “I felt like I was too Moroccan to fit in as a Belgian and too European to fit in as a Moroccan, and this is something that almost every immigrant has to deal with.” Through his photographs, Lamrabat is honing a visual language that captures both the universality and uniqueness of this experience, while dismantling stereotypes and cultural norms and paving the way for something new and more flexible. “As a kid, I loved wearing djellabas and rocking them with my Jordan sneakers. It felt “cool” at that time because that’s who I was: a mixture of identities. Doesn’t it make sense that your “idea-basket” gets larger when you live in different cultures or you live in multiple places in the world?” The eyes, and often the whole face, are covered in Lamrabat’s images, which interestingly, makes his subjects even more accessible. It’s the experience that we’re connecting with rather than the individual. “I love creating from a perspective that it’s not about one person,” he says. “The face takes so much information away and doesn’t leave that much to the imagination…. I feel when the face doesn’t show, the person who is looking at the image puts their own face in there.”


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