Daniel Donnelly is an English born photographer living and working in Rabat, Morocco. Since graduating with a degree in Cultural Communications in 2003, he has worked in Egypt, South Korea, India, England, and now Morocco. “Waiting for Spring” captures the peculiar calm experienced in Morocco in the wake of the Arab Spring, in 2011. These images breathe a collective sigh of relief. In this series, his photographs, primarily void of human interaction, allude to a culture of calm transition, finding patience and balance, waiting to see what will be as Morocco enters a world of uncertain change.
Most recently Daniel has been documenting change in developing countries and the displays of power that exist on the streets of these places.
There was much comment in Spring 2011 comparing the fall of communism to the Arab Spring. Many said we would see a domino effect spreading across the region.
The people waited. The media waited. The people with power waited. The domino effect did not come to Morocco.
Change did occur though, just not on the scale of Tahir Square. No tear gas, no grand trials, no displays of bodies in butcher shops. A new constitution was written and a referendum held. It was reported by Moroccan state media that 98.49% of people voted for the changes. An election was brought forward and a new government was formed.
A key difference in the new constitution was that the King choses the Prime Minister from the party that won the most votes. This may seem like small change, but it is one that was hailed as significant for a dynasty that has kept a tight rule since the 17th century.
Protest numbers in the capital have gone from tens of thousands, to thousands, to—on some more recent days—hundreds. A change has happened in Morocco, but it is not the one that we were told would happen. Some feel the monarch has brought change in, whilst others are still waiting.
Selected by Diane Smyth (British Journal of Photography), Stefanie Braun (Senior Curator, Photographers’ Gallery) and Francesca Sears (Director of Profile, Panos Pictures) as one of the Magenta Flash Forward Emerging Photographers of 2012.
Check out his website.