Malika Sqalli is a multicultural and multilingual artist who uses photography as medium to shows “reality” in new ways, or, as the great critic John Berger put it, a way of “catching the frame between the frame.” Her photos are a way of asking questions about the world and inspiring people with visual answers and are at once a form of international communication, full of anthropological, geographic, and human elements that become part of a visual education.
Born in Morocco, Sqalli moved to France in her teens and attended the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Montpelier. She then spent several years living in London, and since 2010 she has divided her time between London, Rabat, Los Angeles.
One of recent project "latitude 34" had her tracing a line across the latitude 34, from North to South of it around the globe. A line that links her home town Rabat, on the latitude 34, and Los Angeles where she lived and started her journey, also on latitude 34. She was turning 34 at the time.
This line became more than just a geographical line. It became a metaphor of our journey in life and a bridge between what makes us humans. It led her to investigate the notion of home & identity; two topics that are very current in todays’ very mobile world where many don’t live where they were born, but far away from their home land and home culture.
Malika addresses the connections and disconnections: what links us, relates to us and also what is far away, different and mysterious.
As Malika puts it in her TEDx talk: “I read recently a quote from Muriel Rukeyser, “The universe is made of stories not atoms”. I don’t agree totally; for me the universe is made of Atoms Ideas and Stories…
She is also a qualified personal trainer and kettlebell coach. She was invited to do Ted Talk in 2013 in Casablanca about Latitude 34 and became a fully licensed skydiver in order to work on a new series of abstract aerial photographs during freefall.
Matahari wearing proudly her Moko Kauae ( chin Tattoo) and standing on the land of her Marae the day her iwi decided to meet again there and work on rebuilding it and the community after it burned in 2012.
This is part of a project : Between the lines - where i set out to document and link Maori facial tattoos with berber tattoos in Morocco - my home land.
What was the significance of these facial tattoos? What are the stories behind them?Was there a connection between the two?
Morocco and New Zealand are at the exact opposite coordinate. Stick a needle through Morocco; through the centre of the globe, that needle will emerge in New Zealand. Will this same needle sew a thread, trace link and ink the two traditions?