Born in north Morocco and raised in the Belgian city of Sint-Niklaas along with his eight siblings, Mous Lamrabat’s distinctive style of photography is an exploration of being caught between two different cultures. His colourful images typically hone in on traditional Moroccan clothing such as the djellaba, combined with Western iconography ranging from Louis Vuitton’s instantly recognisable graphics to the McDonald’s ‘Golden Arches’.
“My background is basically being a Moroccan kid that tried to survive in the West. Inside our house you got transported to North Africa and forgot you were in Europe. And outside the house we wanted to join the cool kids with the coolest sneakers, who listened to hip-hop,” says Lamrabat.
While Lamrabat was always destined to end up doing something creative, photography wasn’t his first option. In 2009, he graduated with a degree in interior design from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent and had already managed to line up a couple of job offers off the back of it. Despite his career path apparently being set in stone, he decided to give it all up to take an unpaid role as a photographer’s assistant.
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