Denise Bellon Bousbir Bordelo, Casablanca, Morocco
Medium Silver print
Photo Date 1940c Print Date 1940c
Dimensions 9-9/16 x 9-1/8 in. (243 x 232 mm)
Photo Country Morocco
Photographer Country France
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Photographer's stamp on verso. Number and title in pencil on verso. The Bousbir quarter in Casablanca was notorious for its prostitution. The French military actually controlled prostitution in Morocco at the time. Numerous books have been written about this infamous district. Bousbir of Casablanca employed, from its opening at the beginning of the 1920s until its closing in 1955, between 600 and 900 women. It became a kind of model for the organization of prostitution and then was exported, with more or less success, to other urban centres of North Africa. Bellon began her career as a photographer in 1934, having first studied psychology at the Sorbonne. Initially her subjects were ones typical of the era, such as industrial trends, the essence of matter, female nudes and portraits of cultural leaders. She also produced photographic reportages on various countries. During the occupation of Paris, she lived in Lyon and was an active member of the resistance. She was one of the founders of the Alliance Photo agency and during her lifetime had work displayed at many exhibitions in France and abroad.
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