Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj’s first feature-length film, Karima: A Day in the Life of a Henna Girl, premieres at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Bing Theater May 13th, 2015 FREE. Taking viewers into the world of one Hajjaj’s most iconic series, Kesh Angels, the film depicts the “henna girls” of Marrakesh. During the course of a day, Hajjaj follows a businesswoman named Karima and her friends, who work as henna artists in Jemaa el-Fnaa, the historic market in Marrakesh’s old city. From the quiet confines of Karima’s home to the bustling market, where the women and one man woo tourists into adorning their bodies with henna, the film captures the humor, creativity, and strength of the “henna girls.” Set against the vibrant background of the city, Karima provides a glimpse into the life of a Moroccan woman and the colorful world that inspires Hajjaj’s work.
Hassan Hajjaj and the film’s principals, including Karima, take part in a Q&A after the screening. This program coincides with LACMA’s exhibition Islamic Art Now: Contemporary Art from the Middle East (part one), featuring 25 works from LACMA’s growing collection of contemporary Middle Eastern art, including two photographs by Hassan Hajjaj: Caravane (2011) and Gang of Kesh (2000).