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Fine Art Prints by Ricky Qi



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He excitedly asked me for my phone, ran up a dune, and started taking photos of the tour group; he thought this is what I would want, being here in this place. I took my camera out and made an image of him trying to keep up with us.

Later that night, I bumped into him in the camp kitchen. He was cooking for our group. That's when I learned his story. His name was Moustafa, and he hailed from a traditional nomadic Berber household. Nearly ten years ago his family's goats– their main source of income and food, died off, when the wells in the region ran dry... The first time in living memory. With no money, his entire family had little alternative but to abandon their nomadic way of life. Recounting this, his face took on a painful expression. Now, he was employed by a company to take care of the tourists and the camels on which we rode: cooking, cleaning, and entertaining an endless stream of outsiders.

As I left the kitchen, I spied Moustafa rushing the steaming plates of food out of the kitchen; he was back to his jovial self. He entered the mess tent to the sound of cheerful applause. I could hear the drums as well as his voice, clear as a bell, singing. 

I gazed up at the night sky. A photographer, camel herder, chef, and a musician... Here was a man whose life had taken a strange turn; he had been forced to leave behind a way of life that had been passed down through generations, one that was inextricably linked to the rhythms of the desert and the ebb and flow of its resources. And yet, he adapted and found a way to survive.

To me, Moustafa's story serves as a poignant reminder that the impact of our economic system and climate change is not just an abstract concept or a far-off problem, but a harsh reality that is deeply felt by people in his station, who find themselves torn between cherished traditions and the rapidly shifting sands of their economic reality. Yet, the impact of these forces is not confined to them alone. It touches all of us. Perhaps that's why we seek out places like these, to connect with guides like Moustafa, who can offer a glimpse of a world that we've lost somewhere along the way. 

Erg Chebbi, Errachidia Province, Morocco. 

About this print:
Gicleé inks on museum-grade, 0.43mm thick 100% premium cotton archival paper. Acid free. Smooth-matte surface provides a beautiful organic texture and excellent viewing from any angle. 

A 0.6-inch, white border runs along the perimeter of the image. Does not come framed. Please allow print to gently flatten out over a few days upon arrival before framing or hanging. 

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