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My creations are inspired by my Berber African origins. I grew up in France, but Africa has never ceased to call me, calls that I was unable to explain.

The need to put down roots, to emerge myself in values, in scents, in very warm colors. The quest to know from where I came, who I was, and why my dreams were so agitated and disturbed.

I have therefore followed this unconscious call, to acknowledge (*recognize) this earth, to meet, to touch, to communicate with these people from the most remote locations of the planet. I discovered who I was : berber disseminated in a territory of 5 million km2, from the Egyptian-Libyan border, to the Canary Islands, and the Mediterranean, until just beyond the Niger river, making for a total of more than 40 million berberophones.

Batna - 7.6 ko

This territory, which was called Numidia, rich in a very moving history, where it was discovered on cave drawings in the Canary Islands, Malta, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, a writing more ancient than the phenician and greco-Latin : TIFINAGH.

TIFINAGH :: la mouche

Concerning the date of appearance of tifinagh, the only certitude comes to us from an inscription which carries a date : one from the temple of the Amazigh (which signifies « free man »in berber) king, Massinissa, who attributes the construction of the temple to the year 10 during the reign of this king, that is to say, 139 years before our era. This alphabet disappeared from North Africa with the arrival of the Arabs. Only the nomad community, the Touaregs, grace to their mobility, have partially escaped the domination by this empire and have conserved this writing.

Bracelet berbère - 3.1 ko

In the sedentary communities, it is the women who still transmit the authentic writing, often, without knowing it, (facial tattooing and henna designs, geometric figures in their weavings, carpets, silks, embroideries, jewellery, ...).

My renderings in mosaics and paint are representative of this writing, which is composed of geometric characters, bars, circles and dots, which are well integrated into all styles of decoration.



Ben Azri Jewels : Tifinagh Collection