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An African Surf Documentary

The sea gives, the sea takes

The unleashed forces of Morocco’s Atlantic Ocean in a photo series.

Photos by Judith Recher / Lupi Spuma
Text by Andreas Jaritz

The sea is merciful. She can be cruel. She gives and she takes. She takes land, takes wood and human-made concrete. She takes dreams. In 2014 she took it all when a big storm with seven-meter waves changed the face of Bouznika, a little holiday village south of Rabat. Houses are gone forever. Nobody will reconstruct them. Sad? Yes! Without fault of the house owners? No!

‘These houses are not meant to be built here’ says Kis Kis our production guide for central Morocco. ‘Before, there were only a couple of tiny fishing huts. Wealthy people from Rabat came and started to buy the lots from the fisherman. So far so legal. But the new land owners had no papers, no rights to build big houses there. Officially the government only allowed the construction of wooden fishing huts.

But no holiday houses with big terraces, kitchen bed- and living rooms. Not so close to the ocean. The obvious consequences of this kind of ignorance would be fatal.

The storm swiped through the fancy houses and destroyed everything. Most of the houses are uninhabitable. And the government has no mercy with the owners. They are not allowed to rebuild the houses and they don’t get any financial compensation from the government.

But there are also rumors that the government wants to build a fancy marina for fancy people and their fancy sailing boats.

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