vrijdag 9 augustus 2019

114 Writing the Graphic Travelogue

It is a bit as the dilemma about the chicken or the egg: which came first. I made the story Destination Iligh out of sketches without text. Now that Bert is back in Amsterdam for a while, it is all about text. She liked the story, but the outline for the text doesn't quite follow the ramblings of the sketches. It also has to do with the material and the sources. There is little sketch material about some subjects where there is an abundance of text sources. How to balance sketches and text, that is the question. Nothing comes easily. In the sketch: the first meeting between Bert and me and the Imam and Fatima Aboudmiaa. Love for Egyptian Movies and Soaps was the common denominator that opened the door for friendship.

maandag 5 augustus 2019

113 Sketches galore

The original Graphic Travelogue called 'Destination Iligh' was only 4 pages. It was supposed to go into a 'Cahier' Bert was making about Iligh with contributions of different experts. Bert and I were going to do 'something' together. She was doing the text, me the drawings. The 'something' had come to nothing yet. We both were busy with other things. i had given it some thought though and when I needed to 'play' as part of recovery I thought this was a good place to start. It turned out, I had given it already so much thought that it didn't take much time to fill up 4 pages with sketches. Each page of basic A4 size was forming one chapter. There were 4 distinct chapters: View of Iligh from 4 sides, The court, Imam and the Museum and Foreign (in particular Dutch) Interest in Iligh. That done I was eager to continue. Bert was away on the Orkneys. The text had to wait. I decided to add 4 more pages. Highlighting the itinerary to Iligh and Michiel de Ruyter's expeditions to Iligh. That made 8 pages. I discovered that keeping the strickt regime of one page one chapter, I could endlesly extent the story line of the Graphic Travelogue adding pages on ways to travel, slaves, the environs of Iligh, the family Aboudmiaa and flora and fauna. This sketch depicts the wondrous landscape on the mountains between the Rout N ! and Iligh.

112 Starting a Graphic Travelogue

As I will be recovering from surgery for some months and as I need daily care, I'm stuck in Amsterdam and won't get around much, let alone go anywhere soon. This state of affairs I've been anticipating for some years now. That is why I was doing so much traveling and so much sketching. In 1993 we (a group women of which I was one) organized a week long conference on 'a gay old day' (een vrolijke oude dag). One of the organizers worked a lot with the 'Intranet'. At the time it was a cyber network of universities. The World Wide Web wasn't really up and working yet. But we sensed it wasn't far away either. We asked Marleen Stikker who was setting up an email network provider (dds) for the city of Amsterdam to give a talk about the future importance of computer networks when being old and possibly infirm. Well, it all became reality. Being infirm and older for me means I can play. I have hundreds of sketches, I have Photoshop, my own font and I have the time. I'm playing now with the sketches I have made in the last 6 years in Southern Morocco and in Iligh in particular. Of course the graphic story about Iligh is still 'in progress' if not exactly 'having come to a grinding halt'. Doesn't matter: I have now the time to compose a 'Graphic Travelogue'. This sketch of 'Goats in an Argan Tree' is composed of two different drawings.

zondag 4 augustus 2019

111 Jeanine Pascon

A number of years ago I received computer files of a number of old snap shots taken when Paul Pascon, Paolo De Mas and the others were doing research in Iligh. One of the pictures was taken during the wedding of Hamdi Aboudmiaa. Dominique Verdugo who at the time was making a map of the White or Women's Castle had written in Hamdi's name into two little rooms. One of the people in the snap shot is Jeanine Pascon, the wife of Paul. Apparently she had come to Iligh for the wedding. She is looking straight at the camera, while her husband is being nice to young Hamdi. I'm glad I could make a good drawing of the photo. Shortly after this picture was taken Jeanine's life took a dramatic turn. First her two sons disappeared during a camping trip. They were never found: probably kidnapped and murdered. In 1985 her husband was killed in a road accident when the landrover in which he was traveling turned over when caught on a sand dune. Paul and his closest associate were sitting in the back and were killed. The other occupants of the car survived.

vrijdag 2 augustus 2019

110 Gevaarlijke kusten

It was dangerous sailing down the Moroccan coast. Not only was there the threat of pirates' ships, but also of the local currents and Atlantic storms. There are 17th and 18th century illustrations of ships that run aground on the rocks and sandbanks that litter the coast. While the ship's crew tries to safe their lives in the surf, the local populations has gathered on the shore to take them prisoners. Nowadays one can enjoy a meal of freshly caught fish on the beach of Tifnit while the fishermen are fishing off the rocks that protect the beach from the onslaught of the Atlantic.

woensdag 31 juli 2019

109 Back in the Muzeeum in Vlissingen

After much ado and thanks to the interference of Bert I finally got word that I could come and sketch the model of Michiel de Ruyters ship the Salamander in the Muzeeum in Vlissingen. The Salamander was the ship on which De Ruyter made his profitable voyages to Morocco. The model was taken out of storage and placed on the table in a meeting room. Bert and I were welcomed by Pol Verbeeck one of the curators of the museum. He explained that several models of the ship had been made over the years. They were all made by retired ship builders from the nearby wharfs who modeled the Salamander after descriptions given by De Ruyter in his Diary. The model in the Muzeeum wasn't older than 60 years. While I was sketching Bert had a conversation with Verbeeck about a young man from Eindhoven who had written a book about the 10 years that De Ruyter sailed on the Salamander. Verbeeck did rather scathing about the scientific content of the book. Apparently there was a lot of speculation but he had extensively written about Iligh. Bert's curiosity was peaked. During the lunch break we went to the local bookshop only to find that the book was not only sold out but also out of print. Later Bert had mail contact with the writer, but when she found out he hadn't even visited Iligh, she lost interest.

108 17de eeuwse handelsbetrekkingen

When Michiel de Ruyter went to Iligh in the 17th Century he traded in hats. What the lord of Iligh really wanted of course were weapons and lots of it. But the Staten Generaal, the parliament of the Dutch Republic had ordered that there would be no weapons sold to the Sultan of Morocco for fear he would turn them on the Dutch. But Ali Aboudmiaa presented himself as an independent ruler who had nothing to do with the Sultan. That was the arrogance that would cost his offspring and Iligh dearly later on. For De Ruyter Aboudmiaa's word was enough. The hats provided excellent cover for the more profitable canons and muskets. On the other hand hats and other head coverings like helmets only showed the importance of the wearer if decked out with exotic oistrich feathers and that was something Ali Aboudmiaa had plenty of.