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Naïma El Kadi, My Olive Tree Memouna

Photobook, exhibition design

A relatively small and thin book with lots of tactile elements that immediately feels intimate and personal. 

A visual search for identity, with photographs that are dreamy and blurry, based on distant feelings and ephemeral notions, and the overall feeling of going back and forth between fragmented memories. I was asked to design the photobook and the exhibition by photographer Naïma El Kadi.

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 My Olive Tree Memouna photobook design

about

My Olive Tree Memouna is a search for identity and homeland in images, particular physical landscapes, and people. Naïma moved to Belgium when she was ten years old; she was born in Rabat, Morocco. Trying to understand and learn more about her home country and the place where her ancestors come from, Naïma traveled to Morocco, back to the village where her parents were born. Feeling at home in both places but not fully belonging to either, Naïma turned to photography to find her lost balance.

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Exhibition design

testimonial

"It was an honor to work with Asja. It was so nice talking to her and exchanging ideas. She understood me... The whole process went very smoothly.
Thank you."

Naïma El Kadi, photographer

design

The book focuses on dreamy and blurry photography combined with Polaroid photography. One spread with fold-outs opens to a photograph showing a woman in white clothes walking outside in a rocky area, near the ruins of an old structure. The old Polaroid on the right, faded and distorted, shows misty silhouettes of an adult and a child. Placed together, these images try to link the past and the present. Naïma's photographs have an almost mysterious sensibility. My Olive Tree Memouna is a modest and simple publication, yet it is a thoughtful and personal photographic project, engaging with childhood memories and unanswered questions. It is a visual diary that pays tribute to memories, people, and the land. As we follow Naïma's meditative visual process, the journey becomes just as important as the result, becoming a personal story with a universal dimension.

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My Olive Tree Memouna photobook design

cases

Client

Naïma El Kadi

Year

Collaboration

Photographer Naïma El Kadi, graphic design studio Asja Keeman, paperadvice De Monsterkamer, printing house Raddraaier SSP, Book binder Boekbinderij Patist, documentation The Book Photographer. 

2020 - 2021

Services

Photobook
Exhibition design

Exhibition venue

2021, Blanco Platform, Belgium
2022, De Rencontres d'Arles, France
2022, Athens Photo Festival, Greece

Website