Biker. Chic. Considering ‘chic’ is one of the most hackneyed word in fashion, let’s just focus on ‘biker’. What images appear when you think of a ‘biker look’? Could the equation be as rudimentary as: Leather + Boots + Black = Biker?
Not quite for London-based artist, Hassan Hajjaj. His idea of biker lies in Moroccan women who fiercely stamp all over traditional biker concepts. the series of photographers depict how motorcycle riders do not fall from the same tree, let alone adopt similar dressing. The vibrant images bordered by icons of everyday items create visualisations of how commerce, branding, fashion and (preconceived) notions of Arabic woman converge on the streets of Marrakech – all while riding a bike.
Titled, Kesh Angels, the photographs are essentially an insouciant mix of traditional and modern, East and West and introduces viewers to the layers of cultures co-existing in Morocco.
The juxtaposition of traditional with modern was evident in the familiar Nike tick or camouflage and polka dotted prints that splattered across abbayas – traditional Muslim attire. Perhaps Hajjaj was presenting the varied eyes through which Arabic culture is constantly scrutinized or portraying how a largely conservative society consistently toys with Western influences – either way, the spread is a telling reminder to of how quickly brand logos and influences infiltrate cultures, dominating our very eyes.