Yoriyas, The Last Mercedes, (2014 - ), photography series. Courtesy the Artist.

Yassine Alaoui Ismaili (Yoriyas)

Yassine Alaoui Ismaili (Yoriyas)

Born 1984 in Casablanca (Morocco), lives and works in Casablanca


Yoriyas is a photographer and performer artist. He started playing chess at five years old, leading him to fall in love with mathematics. By the age of 16, the influence of Hip Hop culture paved a new path in his life, he became a breakdancer. In 2013, while traveling the world as a competing professional dancer, a serious knee injury halted his dance career. This sparked a new artistic transformation: street photography as a means of expression.

His work is often an intuition-based observation of urban/public space and a documentation of daily life and change in Morocco. His images have been published in numerous established newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and National Geographic. His recent exhibitions include "Afrika Im Blick der Fotografen", Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte Museum, Völklingen, 2020 ; "Casablanca Not the Movie", La Fabrique Pola, Bordeaux, 2019 ; "Loading … Casa", De Markten, Brussels, 2018. In 2020, he curated "Sourtna", the inaugural exhibition of Morocco’s first National Photography Museum.


Yoriyas has received several international awards, including Les Amis de l’Institut du Monde Arabe - Prize for Young Contemporary Arab Creation 2019 and the 7th Contemporary African Photography Prize 2018.


For the 5th Biennale Internationale de Casablanca, Yoriyas will present a new mixed media piece developed from his photography project The Last Mercedes. This series narrates the journey of the German-manufactured Mercedes 240s imported to Morocco and used as big taxis – the shared urban vehicles called ‘grand taxi’ in French. Yoriyas captures the integration of these taxis in the Moroccan culture, and the companionship developed between the drivers, passengers and vehicles. 


© 2020 Biennale Internationale de Casablanca | Tous droits réservés.