The CHDA was invited to the opening of an earth architecture exhibition at the 2nd Pan African cultural festival in Algiers. CHDA was represented by the coordinator, immovable heritage (Ishanlosen Odiaua). CHDA’s presence in Algiers was from 3rd – 8th July 2009. This afforded the opportunity to attend the magnificent opening show, on the 6th, at which artistes from various countries performed. Youssou Ndour and Cesaria Evora also performed at the occasion.
The exhibition titled “terres, d’Afrique et d’ailleurs”, showcased the beauty of earth architecture in Africa and beyond. It takes viewers through a visual and textual experience of the raw material – the wide diversity in colours and applications – through to the indigenous knowledge systems and contemporary expressions in the built environment.
As part of the exhibition, the Algerian government facilitated the participation of 19 artisans from 5 countries (Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Nigeria, Algeria) who prepared wall panels in earth using indigenous techniques and motifs from the communities they represented. The exhibition also included an example of the use of 3D laser scanning for the documentation of earth buildings. This technique facilitates the documentation process and offers a lot of potential for conservation purposes.
The exhibition was opened by the Algerian minister of Culture – Mrs Khalida Toumi – who was shown round by Mrs Yasmine Terkhi, architect from the Ministry of Culture, charged with the implementation of the exhibition.
Also opening on the same night was an exhibition on the Sahara desert: its origins, geological formations, history, flora and fauna and the peoples of the desert.
Apart from participating at the exhibition opening, a very tangible result for CHDA was that it afforded participation at talks on the possibility of establishing an African earth architecture network. The interest for CHDA lies in the fact that the existenc of such a network on the continent will extend its network of professionals on the continent and allow for better responses to meet the needs of partners on the continent.
CHDA is grateful to the Algerian government for the warm hospitality and assistance before during and beyond the exhibition. We sincerely hope that the contacts made with North Africa will bear fruit in the not-too-distant future.
Anthony Yaw OWUSU
Mrs Yasmine Terkhi (left)
Architect, Monuments and Historic Sites
Ministry of Culture Algeria
Mrs Khalida Toumi (right)
Minister of Culture Algeria
PHOTOS SAHARA EXHIBITION