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Deniz Bensason




The Faces of Morocco

Part of the “People” series in the Galleries which also include The People of Ethiopia and Children of the World.

Claudia Cardinale & Yael Abecassis

Claudia Cardinale & Yael Abecassis

What do Gina Lollobrigida, Sophia Loren (born Sofia Scicolone), Claudia Cardinale (born in Tunisia in from Sicilian parents) of Italy and Lara Alvarez, Sonia Ferrer Gonzalez both of Spain and Ronit Elkabetz, Miri Bohadana, Moran Atias, Ninet Tayeb and Yael Abecassis of Israel all have in common?

Yes they are all beautiful women. Dark almond shaped eyes, thick - but it's not coarse - black hair, high cheekbones – a light but slightly Moorish complexion – and all from the Mediterranean basin. This mix of Moor, Berber, Amazigh, and Touareg; Greco-Phoenician, Germanic-Vandal, Semitic-Arab and Jew, Southern European, Somali and Sub-Saharan African seems to produce a rare kind of beauty.

Deniz Bensason & group of photographers - Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Deniz Bensason & group of photographers
Atlas Mountains, Morocco

This is the beauty is a legacy of the inhabitants of the Maghreb - somehow, these good looks seem to be the genetic inheritance of most of the peoples of Morocco.

This blend of ethnicities also photographs very well. I was lucky to make my first study of people’s faces in Morocco – one really can’t go wrong there – every shot yielded good to excellent results as well as distinctive and diverse personal features. I wish it was as easy in some of the other countries I visited.

A special kind of nobility

It is not only physical beauty; there is a type of nobility, a dignity, in both face and posture. Look at the beggars and peddlers in some of the pictures – there is both poise and pride, decorum and distinction radiating through what we may consider a rather drab and lackluster existence.

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