We continue our guest submissions with a long-awaited post from Alli Burness, who documents her travels around the world visiting museums at Museum in a Bottle (you can also find her on twitter @alli_burnie). If you don’t follow Alli already, I highly recommend you do, especially if you like museums a bit off the radar. Anyway, I’ll let her tell you about a recent visit to Morocco, a country we had yet to visit on this blog:
The Berber Museum is a little overlooked in Marrakech, being set inside Jardin Marjorelle, a beautiful garden showcasing plants from all over the world. These gardens are a relief after the frenetic medina square which purports to showcase Imazighen (Berber) culture but is really an empty show for tourist dollars.
The little museum inside the gardens is polished. The galleries dedicated to Imazighen tools, crafts and costume are beautiful. But it’s true glory is unexpectedly stellar. I call it the Saharan Night Sky gallery. The circular room has mirrored walls and a floor of sand. The star light constellations in the black ceiling are reflected infinitely. You see the shape of yourself as black matter among the stars.
The gallery contains jewellery made by Imazighen women which glow golden under their close lighting. They have a serious conversation with their gallery design, yet no labels or text panels create a link between them. Is there a meaningful connection between Imazighen jewellery and the constellations? Or was it French exhibition designers indulging a beautiful fantasy? I do know it’s worth comparing to the real deal, standing on a dune at midnight in the Sahara, seeing your travel companion as black matter among the stars.