The city of 333 saints takes its name from Tamasheq ‘tin’ or ‘tim’ Buktu, wich means the well of buktu, the name of the guardian of the place who saw the touaregs arrive in the 11th century. This place is still visible in the city amongst other architectural treasures to discover.
Created in honour of dr. Kwame Nkrumah the first pesident of Ghana and the father of Independence in 1957, the park sir son, quite the symbol, the former polo grounds of the british coloniser. In the heart of the city, the main attraction is the mausoleum of Nkrumah, a superb pyramid in black marble surrounded by myriad fountains.
The Berber Museum is located in the former painting studio of Jaques Majorelle, and presents a panorama of the extraordinary creativity of the oldest people in North Africa. A collection of over 600 objects (jewellery, arms, leatherwork, basketry, textiles, and carpets) was sourced throughout Morocco –from the Rif Mountains to the Sahara Desert- and attests to the richness and diversity of an ongoing, vibrant culture.
The museum was designed around its collection: sound, music photography and film transport the visitor, opening a door onto the Berber culture of Morocco
Set up in Amsterdam, in 1983, at the instigation of its current President, Michel Leveau, the Olfert Dapper Foundation takes its name from a xviith-century Dutch humanist who, despite never leaving his native country, wrote an encyclopedic description of Africa, first published in 1668.
The purpose of this private non-profit organization is to raise the profile of sub-Saharan Africa’s artistic heritage and contribute to its conservation, by staging exhibitions and awarding research bursaries.
Director Christiane Falgayrettes-Leveau was on the Musée du quai Branly steering committee from 1999 to the end of 2004 and is a member of the Committee for the Memory of Slavery (CPME), set up on January 5th 2004.
Now in its tenth edition, The Recontres de Bamako biennal was founded to promote African photographic creation. Based in particular in the tradition of portrait photography that developed in Mali in the 1960s. The event provides an excellent springboard for emerging talents, perfectly in step with the international scene.
(1886-1962) Were a French orientalist painter and son of the famous Art Nouveau furniture designer, Louis Majorelle. He arrived in Morocco in 1917, invited by the French Resident-General, Marshal Lyautey. Majorelle was seduced by Marrakesch. In 1923, he decided to live there, purchasing a vast palm grove that would become the Majorelle Garden we know today.
In 1980, Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent acquired the Jardin Majorlele, saving it from real estate developers. Since the, the garden has been restored, and many new plants have been added
A good way of recognising new arrivals to a city is, if you are travelling alone, is a muted anger whereas if you are travelling in company, this takes the form of an open argument.
Distrust, doubts, the relative nature of what one takes as read at a few hours’ distance, undermine the bemused and weary traveller’s patience.
Perhaps it is in these moments when the journey reveals itself to the traveller.
The exotic dramatic quality of Arabic decoration is extraordinary. A means of escape from the industrialised western decoration so overly confused as to what it aims to aspire to in terms of luxury and the limitation of its resources to serialised, repetitive and angular constructions offering furnishings with laboratory materials resulting in simply pale imitations of the past.
Nature, colour, constructive sets, exquisite materials, engaging ambiences, etc. all of these attract us the decoration projected through magazines as samples of a new luxury concept.
However, is Arabic decoration truly Arabic? Contemporary Arabic culture does not offer, except on rare occasions, any of these aesthetic principles. Even its aspiration is to foolishly mock western standards adding a further over-top-touch, ostentatiousness and bad taste.
In truth that sample of an aesthetic universe based on traditional Arabic culture has been recreated by western foreigners (refined and well-to-do foreign with new horizons free from the inherent atavisms of the west).
Even the recovery of traditional trade, handicrafts and pieces form part of this trend. There is still room for many unanswered questions on philosophical, political, anthropological and religious grounds, although there is plenty of time for them to be asked. The idea has been thrust forward; Arabic decoration is in fact European decoration.
It is worthwhile underlining that this is no way conditions the enjoyment and delight we take from a truly fascinating decorative model that is destined to make us reconsider interior design in the west.
This restaurant located in the Rue d’Anglaterre is –in the opinion of the members of “The African Blog” – one of the best in Tangiers. Both the French cuisine as well as well as impressive levels of customer care and quality services are far removed from the stereotypes one normally finds in Morocco. Furthermore, its decoration, in keeping with the trend for more exclusive spaces in Morocco, manages to incorporate elements of darkest Africa with an industrial vintage motif, all meaning that La Fabrique is a standout restaurant in Tangiers.
The Sulimaniye is a grand mosque, which was built on the order of sultan Suleyman I (the magnificent) and was constructed by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan. The construction work began in 1550 and the mosque was finished in 1557. It is considered to be a kind of architectural answer to the byzantine Hagia Sophia. That is more symmetrical, rationalized and light-filled interpretation of earlier Ottoman examples.