Yassine Alaoui Ismaili - EMERGEAST
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Yassine Alaoui Ismaili
b. 1984, Morocco

Yassine Alaoui Ismaili, aka YORIYAS, is a street photographer based in Casablanca. During his travels around the world in 2013, YORIYAS began concentrating on street photography, and in 2015, his raw and unique talent was rewarded by winning first place at the "Middle East Photography Competition."

YORIYAS' limited edition series "Casablanca...Not the Movie" has caught the attention of the international art community - "Like a Dream" has been featured on Instagram's official account as a featured spotlight on the artist. His background as a Hip-hop contemporary dancer combined with his mathematical sensibilities led him to develop unique photographic techniques.

He was chosen for the world street photography book, and the cover of “APF Magazine Street Photography”. This year YORIYAS’ works have been published in the National Geographic, The Guardian, FIFA magazine, Telquel, NY magazine, “fastcodesign”, The Huffington Post, and in magazines from New York, Dubai, Canada, Holland, and Germany. Given his extremely unique eye behind the lens, YORIYAS is poised to become one of the most prominent photographers in the international art world.

His work has been shown at the HERMÈS Foundation in Paris, 836m Gallery in San Francisco, The History-Miami Museum and Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal, and l'Institut pour la photographie Lille, among others. He organized Sourtna, Morocco's National Museum of Photography's inaugural exhibition, in 2020. Yoriyas was named one of the artists to watch by The New York Times during the Corona Pandemic, and he was awarded the COVID-19 Emergency Fund by National Geographic.

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International solo exhibitions
International group exhibitions
Media coverage
Award winner

Series Statement


Most people have seen the the classic 1942 movie Casablanca. In fact, the movie wasn’t even filmed in the city instead, it was filmed in a Hollywood studio. Casablanca is the largest city of Morocco where people meet, do nothing, exchange, work and display their appearances, cultures and identities.

Casablanca is a city of diverse cultures, as urbanization transforms the environment, orient and occident, tradition and modernity, community and individuality create moments of contrast and fusion. Some of these moments happen every day, others happen only once. Through one photograph, we can possibly see, enjoy, think, not understand and care more about a scene that we probably wouldn’t have noticed if it wouldn’t have been captured.

This series documents these moments of contrast and fusion to give a close and personal view of real Casablanca life from the perspective of a Moroccan, who was born, grew up and still lives in ‘Caza’.



2012 – 2014 Deug in Film and Videos at CAV Media Casablanca, Morocco
2009 – 2014 Formation Hiphop/Contemporary dance: Cie 2KFar, Lhkz, Maguerite, Street Dance Chicago- Salzburg -Rome-Rio-Seoul
2006 – 2008 Deug in Grafic Arts at Institute of Graphic Arts Casablanca, Morocco

Group Exhibitions

2021 'Carte Blanche', L’Institut pour La photographie, Lille, France
2021 'More Than A Number', Foto gallery, Wales, UK
2021 'Casablanca No the movie', Tropen Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2021 'Carte Blanche', La Condition Publique, Roubaix, France
2020 'Afrika Im Blick der Fotografen', Voelklinger-huette Museum, Germany
2020 'Then and Now', Photoville NewYork city, USA
2020 'JustWatch', 836M Gallery, San Francisco, USA
2020 'Through the lens of', Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal, Holland
2020 'La Vague Blanche', 38 Gallery Casablanca, Morocco
2020 'Carte Blanche', Morocco National Photography Museum, Rabat, Morocco
2019 Moroccan Week at Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, Canada
2019 'Koora', L’Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France
2019 Moroccan portraits, AKAA 2019 | 193 Gallery, Paris, France
2019 Performance Dance/Photo at the International Biennial of Casablanca, Morocco
2019 Exhibition/ Performance at Fabrique Pola — Bordeaux, France
2018 Exhibition/Performance at Arabesque in Airoport Montpellier, France
2018 Exhibition/performance at Riad Yema,1-54 African Artfair, Marrakech, Morocco
2018 Exhibition/performance at Presence Photographie Montèlimar
2018 Moussem Cities Loading Casa, Brussels, Belgium
2017 Foundation d’entreprise Hermès, Paris, France
2017 History Miami Museum group exhibition Miami, USA
2017 The Arab Street, Gulf Photo Plus Festival, Dubai, UAE
2017 Exhibition/performance Institut Français, Casablanca, Morocco
2016 Camerawork Gallery, San Francisco, USA
2016 Ghaya Gallery Sidi Bou Said, Tunis
2016 Rupture CMOOA Gallery, Marrakech, Morocco
2016 Gutberg-Nerger Gallery, Hamburg, Germany
2016 Offrint Photolondon festival, London, UK
2016 PhotoIreland festival Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
2016 Mediterranean photography festival, France
2015 Universal exposition Milan, Italy
2015 Le Grenier du Corps Marseille, France
2015 Maville French Cultural Institute Marrakech, Tangier, Morocco


2021 Institut pour La photographie Lille, France
2019 Cité internationale des arts Paris, Paris, France
2015 Dance & photography Montel Video, Marseille/France
2015 Urban Art and Media Exchange Cologne, Germany

Awards & Grants

2020 The National Geographic COVID-19 Emergency Fund
2020 The New York Times, Five Artists to Follow on Instagram Now, New York City, USA
2020 Nominated for Joop Swart Masterclass, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2019 Prize of l’Institut du Monde Arabe for Contemporary Arab Creation, Paris, France
2018 The 7th Contemporary African Photography Prize, Basel, Switzerland
2017 Selected for New York Times Portfolio Review, New York City, USA
2016 First prize in Les Nuits Photographique, Essaouira, Morocco
2016 Finalist Lensculture Street Photography Awards, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2016 First prize in World Street Photography, Hamburg, Germany
2016 First prize in PhotoMed festival, France
2016 Selected for “OBSCURE STREET” PhotoIreland, Dublin, Ireland
2015 Second prize Street photo Maville. Morocco
2015 First prize in Middele East Street Photography
2015 National Geographic Yourshot, Daily Dozen
2015 Editor creative note at National Geo

Permanent Collections

Hermès Foundation, Paris
Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah
Voelklinger-huette Museum, Völklingen
Morocco Museums Foundation, Rabat
l’Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris
Private collections (Morocco, Japan, USA, France, Portugal, Uk, Spain.)

Reviews & Publications

Lensculture Photo publication for Magnum photography award 2016
NY magazine Fastcodesign 2016
World street photography book 2016
Interview with al.arte.Magazine 2016
Machallah news 2015
APF Magazine 2015/2016
Urbain street photography 2015
Fujifilm Middle East Africa 2015
Royal air Maroc print magazine May/Juin 2014