Broadening our Lens in Mystical Morocco
A luxury photography and yoga retreat
An epic and transformational adventure to the mystical land that is Morocco. We will stay at Peacock Pavilions, a high-end boutique hotel in Marrakech recognized by Forbes, CNN, Elle Decor and others as one of the world’s most beautiful. We will interact with and learn from the girls at Project SOAR,, explore ancient walled cities, the coast and mountains and discover the rich culture of this mythical county.
Our journey through this remarkable land will be experienced both through the lens of our cameras as well as through the lens of yoga. Instructor Jessica Riley-Norton will guide you through all-level yoga classes at the start of each day, giving us space to drop in to our bodies and savor what we see, feel, smell taste and hear. Photojournalist Julia Cumes will inspire us photographically throughout the week with a combination of presentations, visual prompts and critiques. No prior photographic experience is necessary and you may use a DSLR camera or your phone to photograph.
Lastly, we will work alongside Project SOAR, a non-profit organization which educates and empowers teenage girls in the developing world.
By the end of the week, we hope to broaden your lens, shed layers of cultural identities that divide us, inspire you, empower you and fill your hearts.
The center is located in a private olive grove on the outskirts of Marrakech, and is a unique alternative to a traditional riad. The boutique hotel is a hand built, artisanal property. Featured in dozens of magazines and television shows (CNN International and House and Garden Television, as well as in the New York Times, Elle Decor and in multiple travel guides, also named by Forbes as one of the world’s most stylish hotels), the hotel is a favorite location for travelers in the know, fashion shoots, yoga and creative retreats and celebrations of all kinds.
The estate is comprised of three pavilions: the Main Pavilion, the Atlas Pavilion and the Medina Pavilion, as well as outdoor areas.
The hotel delights in menus featuring farm-to-table, elevated Moroccan cuisine so good it was featured in Food and Travel Magazine! Food is prepared the old-fashion way – made from scratch. The chef will provide a fixed daily menu that relies on local, fresh ingredients, some from Peacock Pavilion's own gardens.
Breakfasts - daily made bread from the village’s communal bread oven (rebuilt as part of their charity, Project Soar), homemade jams, eggs or muffins, yoghurt, fruit, just squeezed juice, coffee and tea
Lunches – light and fresh (soups, salads, quiches, etc.) served with cookies or fruit for dessert
Dinners – three delicious courses, served by candle light, ending in an herbal infusion from the garden to help you sleep
To enhance your experience, meals are served in several locations, depending on the weather and size of the group.
Julia Cumes is South African-born photographer based on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. As a photographer, she is passionate about story-telling and capturing moments of authentic connection and intimacy. She's particularly invested in exploring stories about the struggles women and girls face around the world as well as wildlife conservation. Over the course of her career, she has worked on many projects focused on these issues primarily in Africa and East Asia. Her work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, National Geographic as well as a variety of local publications. She has also worked on numerous long term personal projects and her work has been widely exhibited on Cape Cod and elsewhere. Her blog, "Apertures and Anecdotes" features a wide range of photographs and the stories behind them. During the past four winters, she has spent time teaching photography to children in Rwanda as well as to tribal Samburu Women at the On'gan Women's Cooperative in Kenya and most recently taught a photography workshop in Cuba. She also teaches a variety of photography workshops and classes locally and is a resident photographer at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod where she has a studio/gallery. You can see more of her work at www.juliacumes.com and https://aperturesandanecdotes.blog/.
Jessica has trained under Natasha Rizopoulos, Nicole Clark, Jill Abraham, Nikki Meyers, and S.N. Goenka in Yoga and meditation. She is devoted to helping others thrive, and uncovering their true essence. Jessica is inspired by her own continual transformation through the practice of yoga, as well as witnessing the benefits of yoga received by her students. Jessica believes that movement is medicine, and in her own experience, finds that a good sweat each day gives her the ability to take on what life gives with a sense of grace, grit, and gratitude.
Jessica opened the doors of Evoke with the intention of creating a supportive, energetic community, with opportunities to grow and thrive through the ancient wisdom of yoga. She has been bringing groups of people on yoga retreats for five years, to different countries each time. This will be the seventh yoga retreat she leads.
6:30 Welcome Dinner
8:30 Welcome Circle