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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2015  /  May 2015  /  Marrakech tanneries enigma

Marrakech tanneries enigma

Alex’s photograph wins UCL Framed Photography Competition

Marrakech tanneries enigma

Alex Ma, on the UCL Geography MSc Global Migration course, has won the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources Framed Photography Competition for 2015.

Alex explains, “This photo depicts a tannery outside Marrakech, Morocco. Here, mounds of natural chemicals and dyes are used to create leather goods in a manufacturing process that remains unchanged for centuries. Nonetheless, offshore production, unregulated tourism and environmental degradation threaten these practices”.

The judges commented:

"At first glance you might overlook this picture, but the longer you look the more it strikes you and the more there is to see. Traditional versus contemporary, and the changing nature of using resources for long established manufacturing processes versus using them to attract tourism, raise some interesting questions. Is the tanning practice sustainable because of its tradition or because it raises tourism revenue?"

Alex's winning image, with staff and student runners-up and a selection of highly commended entries, including by Geography PhD researcher Clement Oghoro, are on display in the UCL North Cloisters from May 18.

The full short list is also available here:


Marakech Tannery