Q&A: Hanane El Ouardani — The skies are blue the walls are red


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? Sky is the limit. What will baffle future generations about our day and age? Auto-tuned hiphop. Are you aware of any conspiracies? Sometimes, when I fill my time on the internet. What is it that interests you about photography? The butterflies in the stomach. What is the worst thing about city life? The pressure to stay active, you almost start to feel guilty when you plan a stay at home day. What part of the planet would you like to explore? Iran and Kuwait, I have a weakness for places with huge contradictions. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? Predestine, I’m a spiritual person. If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be? Muhammed Ali. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Astronomy. What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? When I accept living in the now, I accept living in the now. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Food critic. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. Paul Graham’s A shimmer of possibility, taught me to have patience and see the ignored. How often do you take other people’s advice? Almost never, even though I ask them a lot. Describe a personal hell. Talking about the definition of feminism. Which living person do you most admire? In bad and good times, my mother. On what occasion do you lie? When I say ‘almost there’. What was the last crime you witnessed? A racist joke while standing in the wrong line. What is the best way to educate yourself? To listen to your intuition, know yourself. What is the next book you want to read? Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Ultimate camera? Mamiya 7. Most used camera? Mamiya RZ67. What object do you want? Bodi-Tek BT-ABTR. What object do you need? A new bike. How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? A world where the sky is the limit for real. Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? Hmm. Describe a cheap thrill. Lasagna and watching serial killer documentaries. Pick an historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. Louis Armstrong playing for his wife in front of the Sphinx by the pyramids in Giza. Wish I photographed that. Are impulses more important than consequences? Without impulse there is no consequences, without consequences there is no essence of life. Which talent would you most like to have? Pro skateboarder. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? Send these answers out, have a hair masker and finish three dots on my to do list.

‘The Walls Are Red, The Skies Are Blue’ is a visual diary contemplating the different layers of a diasporic identity. How can one reclaim home without falling into cultural clichés? How can one represent their roots without feeling alienated from their own culture? Each of the images seems to originate from the question: Is this me? The graduation project studies the notion of identity from the point of view of someone who has lived outside of it, it questions its validity, and creates a conversation between the artist, and the place she calls home.

Hanane El Ouardani b. 1994 The Netherlands is a Dutch Moroccan photographer living in Amsterdam and working between the Netherlands and Morocco. She is a photography graduate from The Royal Academy of Arts at The Hague. To see more of Hanane El Ouardani’s work visit — Website / Instagram.