Yassine Alaoui Ismaili Morocco

Cover Image - Yassine Alaoui Ismaili

Yassine Alaoui Ismaili, known as Yoriyas, is a Moroccan street photographer and breakdancer based in Casablanca. In 2013, a serious injury put a premature end to his professional breakdancing career, and in his time of need he turned to photography as a new form of expression. His work largely observes urban spaces and documents daily life and change in Morocco and elsewhere in Africa, and his photos have been featured in the New York Times and National Geographic. His project “Casablanca, Not The Movie” attempts to shine a light on the true identity of his hometown, in response to people stereotyping it according to the 1942 film of the same name. We featured the project and spoke to him about what it means to him: “It’s a diverse group of cultures and I see the contrasts between those. It’s developing so fast and there’s this interesting mix between modernity and tradition,” he says. “I think it’s important for me to show all of this.”