Tangier Seen Through Different Lenses

TALIM Calendar 8 Door detail AIs Tangier still the haven of The Aesthetes, as Andrew O'Hagen of the NY Times Magazine would like us to believe?

Much as many of the individuals depicted in "The Aesthetes" are talented and likeable people, and in many ways represent the concentration of culture and creativity that has typified Tangier for decades, there is nevertheless a ring of the recycled in Mr. O'Hagen's piece.

"It’s an old story — as old as sailing and sex…" so begins this umpteenth ode to Tangier's collection of expatriates.  At least we have O'Hagen's fine writing, and nice photography of what are quintessentially cozy interiors, rich in color and light.

But we've read this before, in fact, writers have been churning this out for decades, The Lost World of Naughty Tangier.  Get a new story line, please.

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Le Parisien's recent travel piece gives a plug to the Legation, and it is nicely illustrated with drawings by Reno Marca (though they depict a building other than ours).  This is straightforward travel writing.

TV5 Canada's "Ports d'Attache" episode on Tangier can be seen through 29 April.  Though aficionados will recognize scenes shot at the Legation, we don't get mentioned as such.  The program (in French) is nevertheless well done, and shows Tangier, warts and all, as it is today.

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Perhaps Tangier is simply a good place to do research for budding US scholars, of the likes of Ayla Amon (George Washington University), Graham Cornwell (Georgetown U.), and Emily Albrecht (Dartmouth College), who have recently written about their experiences at the Legation.

So over to our young Americans.

Ayla Amon, former TALIM intern, has done double duty, first by writing a comprehensive piece on the Legation and its library and museum collections in the art and architecture blog Stambouline, and then with Graham Cornwell (who did research for his dissertation at TALIM), a podcast in "Tajine."

Amon and Cornwell discuss the challenges of maintaining the TALIM collection, and present the myriad opportunities for scholars which our holdings represent.  This is very helpful for people contemplating research in Morocco.

Finally, Emily Albrecht reports on her Dartmouth group's time at TALIM, where they were able to attend our anniversary lecture on Sultan Mohammed V's historic speech in Tangier in 1947.

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There's room for every kind of coverage of Tangier, and while we like exposure for this city and for our unique institution, it's gratifying that of the recent articles devoted to Tangier, those with the most depth come from our young scholars.

Gerald Loftus; photo of Legation door detail by Christiane Delongueville

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