Joshua J Sneade’s work captures the changing times for Morocco’s nomadic tribes
Joshua, who is now based in Bristol, spent two weeks alongside various tribes in Morocco when working on the project. “I was fortunate enough to find a photographer who lives in Morocco and who has done some documentary work with the nomads before,” he recalls. “He acted as my guide and driver, making the trip far easier than it would’ve been by myself.”
This local expertise allowed Joshua to gain very close access, as well as the trust of the tribes – something that is clearly evident in the photographs. He managed to capture all aspects of their lives, from tender family moments to work-filled days in the beautiful mountain landscape. “I went into it not really knowing what to expect, and what I found was some genuinely lovely people who live pretty arduous lives,” he explains. “The towns can offer education for the children which can lead to a better life, so it’s a hard choice for parents between the traditional way of life and what is better for your children.”
Some of the most-striking images in the book are Joshua’s portraits of elderly nomads during calm and reflective moments in camp. The dedication of these older individuals to remain in the mountains was something he found particularly interesting. “The towns offer more security and probably a less physically arduous way of life, especially for the old people,” the photographer points out, “despite this they were proud of their way of life.”
On returning to the UK, Joshua decided to combine the production of the book with learning new skills in the darkroom, something that lengthened the process of self-publishing significantly. “It meant that I ended up working on getting the images ready for about six months because I was having to find a few blocks of days to travel to London to print the work, and could only go once a month or so,” he tells us.
Despite the strenuous nature of the project, it has already inspired him to think about similar work in the future, albeit slightly closer to home this time. “I am toying with a couple of ideas for projects in Bristol,” he says “I definitely want to continue to make documentary series alongside fashion work though!”