“Waha واحة” (Arabic for “oasis”) is a four-year photographic research project aimed at understanding the complex relationship between people, their surroundings, and the history of the territories they inhabit.

Collectively, oases carry a mystical, almost magical aura. Growing up in the south of Morocco, they have always been an intriguing transitional territory, I wished to explore and demystify. Beyond myths and orientalist representations, oases define systems, cultures, indigenous knowledge and innovation. They maintain a delicate balance between water, flora, soil, and climate in hostile environments. Oases reflect what happens on a larger scale, reminding us that humans can build and nurture whole ecosystems but destroy them in the blink of an eye.

By exploring and experimenting with new processes and visual narratives, the series extends the metaphor of erosion within the oasis. It calls upon external and organic elements, intimately linked to the locations photographed, both documentary and conceptual, to navigate the realities of present-day and yet-to-come deterioration.

Bio: Seif Kousmate (b.1988, Essaouira, Morocco), is a self-taught visual storyteller based in Morocco. He has developed a visual vocabulary that stands between documentary photography and the poetry of fine art photography. After a career as a Project Manager in the civil engineering sector, he dedicated himself professionally to photography in 2016. Since then, he has worked on various visual projects in Africa around migration, youth, and marginalization. He co-founded KOZ collective.
Kousmate’s photography has been widely exhibited in various festivals and venues, including the Foam Photography Museum in Amsterdam, Les Rencontres d’Arles, among others.