Daftar Assafar

Daftar assafar (and English translation)

Brumes au-dessus des terrasses de la médina,
Sifflets des merles sur la ville qui s’éveille…
Au chant hardi du coq répond la prière du muezzin
Et dans l’entrelacs des ruelles, le jour déjeune de la nuit.
Comme jadis au sein d’Ulthar,
Du pavé aux créneaux des murailles,
Les chats sont princes des rues au royaume alaouite
Et il n’est ni toit, ni porte cochère où le félin sacré ne soit chez lui.

Souvent misérables, ce sont des silhouettes de l’ombre,
Des mascottes insensibles aux sarcasmes du temps.

Déambuler jusqu’à se perdre
Puis saisir dans un instant fugace
Le sortilège du mouvement :
« Rien n’est vraiment immobile,
Tout se transforme lentement. »

Un mûrier séculaire sert de repère au carrefour des artisans,
Mais patiente encore pour connaitre l’agitation des étals.
Le flux des passants contraste avec l’étroitesse des échoppes.

Chatoiement des couleurs, profusion des épices,
L’Orient promis par Delacroix est bien là devant toi.

Le souk se saurait être une galerie marchande.
C’est un être vivant où chaque corporation est un organe vital
Qui rythme le pouls de la cité impériale.

Installe-toi à couvert sur l’immense place,
Commande un café noir ou bien un thé brûlant…
Tu peux jouir en silence du spectacle.
Ce ballet incessant des passants, des touristes et des camelots.

Ce n’est qu’après ce rituel qu’une option se précise indécise :
Suivre du regard le fruit de tes pas…

Quand tu rentreras plus tard au riad le cœur empli de mille rêves,
Il te faudra rester humble pour passer les portes
Et te baisser sous peine, à la tête, d’être châtié.

Ainsi dans le rire au dehors des enfants,
Tu saisiras la chance qui t’habite
De reconnaître en Meknès
Un art de vivre heureux.

Daftar assafar (english translation by the author)

Mists under the medina’s terraces,
Whistles of the blackbirds on the city which is awakening.

To the bold singing of the rooster answers the prayer of the muezzin
And in the street’s network, night is the breakfast of the day.

Like in the old days of Ulthar,
From the cobblestone to the slots of the walls,
Cats are princes of the streets in the Alaouit’s kingdom,
And there’s no roof, no door where the sacred feline isn’t at home.

Often miserable, they are shadows of the dark,
Insensitive mascots to the time’s sarcasms.

Walkabout since to be lost,
Then take in a short lapse
The doom of the movement:
“Nothing is really still
Everything is slowly transforming.”

An old mulberry tree is used as a den at the craftsmen’s crossroad,
But wait more to know the shop’s bustle.
The walkers’ flow contrasts with the narrowness of the shops.

Shimmering of the colours, abundance of the spices,
Orient promised by Delacroix is in front of you.

The souk is not a mole.
It’s a living being where every corporation is a vital organ
Which rhythms the pulse of the imperial city.

Settle down on the immense square,
Ask for a black coffee or a hot tea…
You can enjoy the show silently.
This non-stop ballet of the walkers, the tourists and the hawkers.

It is only after this ritual that an option becomes precise undecided:
Follow with the look the fruit of yours steps…

When you return later to the riad with a heart filled with a thousand dreams,
You will have to remain humble to pass the doors
And bend your head under pain of being punished.

Thus in laughter outside children,
You will seize the luck that inhabits you
To recognize in Meknes
A happy art of living.













Process notes
Daftar Assafar is a travel diary in the form of a video poem made during an artist residency at the invitation of the French Institute of Meknes (Morocco). It was to pay tribute to the Moroccan work of the painter Eugène Delacroix. While Delacroix notebooks may not exactly sum up the orientalism of his century, they nevertheless constitute a mirror. A mirror that reflects, aspects of exoticism, disorientation, and recognition of the artistic stimulation of cultural differences, enhanced by its talent. It is also a testimony on Morocco of its time, a journey of initiation that will become a palette of inspiration, in which it can be recharged. For this, he used tools – timeless, but of his time, like the shape of his graphic narrative, his notes of journey.

Today, tourism, digital mobile practices and social networks, multiply films and clichés, literally and figuratively. It’s also an invitation to explore these new formats, to confront them with the framework of the journey, narrative and the work of the carpenter.

My project, during this residency, was to experiment with these current practices, to compose a digital travel book in a poetic orientalist form. Thus, if the music and the text are inspired by this artistic trend and the work of the painter (notably the painting “Moulay Abd-er-Rahman, sultan du Maroc, sortant de son palais de Meknès, entouré de sa garde et de ses principaux officiers”), the images are those of today as the tourists filament the medina or the monuments.

At the end of the residency, this video poem like the very short “Meknes Haikus” that accompanied it were presented at the madrasa Bou Inania of Meknes during meetings of the travel diary “Sur les pas de Delacroix” during a collective exhibition of other invited French and Moroccan artists.

I was born in 1969. Whether I write, film, or play, poetry remains my way. In 2004, I approached the dialogue between words, sounds and pictures, live, in the multimedia trio Ana. I am particularly focused on works where the text takes other paths than the paper, such as live performances, visual art, Internet or mainly video poetry.

For me, videopoetry is a rare moment of grace where images carry with music, an imaginary in osmosis of the text, a quest somehow. My video work has been featured in England, Belgium, USA, Lithuania, Ukraine, Greece, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Spain, Morocco, Byelorussia and also in France.

Yves Bommenel (bobie) // video poetry
Born the 04/04/1969, french, Montpellier (France)
website: http://bobie.fr

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