March 09, 2012

Women's day, NKC

 meeting place with Caravane d'Espoir
 banners done with the help of Mauritanian artists
 arrival to the Presidencial Palace
 on est lá
I want land

Yesterday 8th March, International women's day, I joined the walk from the Ancienne Maison des Jeunes to the Presidencial Palace, great video here. Young and old, rich and poor walked with banners and asking for the end of violence towards women. WE ARE HERE - NAHNE HOUNA was their cry. It was the first time women had demonstrated for their rights in women's day in Mauritania and the walk counted with the presence of  Marième Daddah, the wife of the first President of Mauritania, Moctar ould Daddah.. 

An hour later with  Minetou mint Moctar Ely at its head (a women that braves the secrecy of her society to expose is negatives ways and to try and change the passive role of women) a second demonstration started as the first one finished.
Sad that, reflecting the political stances of the country, women could not unite for the sake of WOMEN.

But I also understand that a women that gives herself to the causes she defends wouldn't like to walk with some of the women that run some NGO's and that are known here as "poupées de salon.
 The internet information sites reflect once again the countries divided views only showing in their news one of the "walks". So if you read just one of them you wouldn't have been aware of the other , is that real journalism?

March 06, 2012

box paintings

dining room
 sand storm
living room
With some horrible appliances in the wall needing to be hidden.  My box paintings, inspired in some of the patterns used to decorate leather work in Mauritania, was the best design solution I could find for Lucia's house.
Coming off the wall about 10 cm and having polished the wood so that the veins show, they're more an object than a painting. 
It was a very good exercise just before I start the new series of landscapes for my exhibition in mid September at the Institute Français in Nouakchott. 

March 03, 2012

Tahra mint Hembara, music and Tabous

 Tahra mint Hembara with Steve Shehan
 Tahra mint Hembara
 Playing in R'Gueiba
The traditional "tbol" of R'Gueiba
Tbol and chorus

Tahra mint Hembara, the greatest ardine player in Mauritania, gave a concert in one of the villages of the Banc d'Arguin last year. That's where I first met her. She played with Steve Shehan as part of a project to valorise the culture of the" Imaraguen", the inhabitants of the fishing villages of the National Park of the Banc d'Arguin.
Today Tahra is again in the news but for her comments to the Press on "violence against women" declaring herself a victim and speaking loud about one of the many tabous of the society she belongs to. 
She has made a special song that she will be playing during the big march that's being organised in Nouakchott by the civil society for women's day, the 8th March.