Yassine Alaoui Ismaili, also known as Yoriyas, is a Casablanca-based photographer and performance artist. Yoriyas started playing chess when he was five years old, falling in love with mathematics. And by the age of 16, the influence of Hip Hop music and culture had paved a new path for his life, as he became a breakdancer.
While traveling around the world in 2013 as a professional dancer in competitions, he experienced a severe knee injury that halted his dance career, paving the way for a new artistic transformation: photography as a means of self-expression.
“CASABLANCA NOT THE MOVIE is a project that I started in 2014. This series is a love letter to the city I call home and an effort to nuance the visual record for those whose exposure to Morocco’s famous city is limited to guidebook snapshots, film depictions, or Orientalist fantasies. Casablanca is a city of diverse cultures shaped by numerous currents that may seem in opposition. I remember being a kid and going to the roof of my family’s building and looking out onto the seaside and the horizon. For me, Casablanca was the end of the world. I want to convey the real street life and situations of Casablanca and highlight the moments where these cultures meet, which we would overlook if not in a photograph from the perspective of a Moroccan, who was born, grew up, and still lives there.’’