Tangier 1940s and 50s is a visual recollection of David Arditti’s childhood spent growing up in Morocco under colonial rule. The book is composed of a series of illustrated letters written to his friend and accomplice, Giorgio, elegantly translated from French by Sarah Ardizzone.
Documenting the minute details so often lost to history, the book is laid out like a visual conversation. It is a story told personally from one friend to another about a childhood spent growing up in Tangier, a city at the intersection of Europe and North Africa, politically independent, but culturally diverse. Arditti’s retelling of the characters and memories from that period brings into focus the smallest and most fascinating details of life in Tangier, whether it be an annotated map of his primary school’s playground or step-by-step instructions of how to prepare a prickly pear.
Claudia Roden describes herself as being ‘completely transported to the 1940s and 50s’ by the book in its brief but immersive dip into the past, where the reader becomes privy to the daily life of Tangier’s residents. Ardizzone’s translation of Arditti’s original, principally French, annotations carefully integrates the patchwork of dialects that represent the social fabric of the city, preserving the multilingual sensibility essential to the book and its subject.
This book is available as an analogue publication, and an ebook version is in preparation.
For a preview of the book, click on the cover image below: