Ait Souka / « Bou-Oumlil »

 » Bou-Oumlil » // Ait Souka

15 Maâlmen min Ait Souka, Atlas Mountains (15 Craftswomen from Ait Souka, Atlas Mountains)

Starting from a technical approach, my activity is marked by a conceptual, theoretical and, at times, deeply didactic drift. The « bou-Oumlil » project comes from an old technique used by the women community of wavers called « Bou-Charouite ». So I envisage the manipulation of the local textiles through a reinvention of the traditional techniques, channelling the skills of the local weavers into more contemporary codes. This project lead us on the creation of very contemporary pieces using very old techniques, I made them focusing on the material itself and not the patterns anymore. I asked them to have a deep reflection on the object itself as first material, I encourage them to be more sensitive to the weaving. So I just draw their intention to angles of creation.

After 120 meters of different white fabrics, 28 days working, 6 hours per day, involving 15 woven we create 2 pieces of fabric, 2m x 2, 50m each.

The project experiments the local craftswomen, guiding them into unexplored  territories to introduce them new territories and encourage them to innovation. I learned a lot from their everyday life, staying one entire month in their village, Ait Souka. I understood that they are not used anymore the weave because of many reasons, the modern life, their society habits, their family life, conflicts between villages, nothing is made to help them to sell their art in the local market etc… Morover the region is very difficult to reach (Hight Atlas), and one of the poorest of the country for the natives meanwhile it’s one of the most touristic (tourists climb Toubkal from all over the world). I felt that the women of Ait Souka in particular (and its entire society) deeply wanted to evolve by creating.

Video by www.marwenfarhat.com