5 May 2023 by Emily Shakespeare
LRG’s Maghreb Landscape Research Network aims to bring together landscape researchers and practitioners from countries across North Africa covering Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. Led by one of our Trustees, Marouen Hedhlie, the group’s purpose is to identify and raise awareness of local landscape issues in the region, and to explore themes common to these interconnected landscapes.
Areas of interest for this Network include:
- Developing the European Landscape Convention as a model for the Maghreb
- Landscape democracy and environmental action
- Colonial landscapes
- Tourism and landscape – blessing or blight?
- Landscape, language and culture
- Environmental pollution and landscape inequality
The Maghreb LRN committee have organised a conference for 22-23 May 2023 at the Department of Architecture, USTO-MB Oran, Algeria in which they will be discussing working towards a Landscape Convention for the Maghreb. Details, including the programme and speakers are below.
To attend via Zoom on the day, use this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84068488024
Kamel Louafi Exhibition Oran, Algeria
La choregraphie du paysage L'Orient recontre l'Occident - si proche et si loin
On Saturday 20th May, the celebrated Algerian/German landscape architect, Kamel Louafi, launches an exhibition of his work at the Oran Regional Library, located in the former Cathedral of Sacré Coeur, in the city. The exhibition explores Kamel Louafi’s fascination with how different types of vegetation, mineral soils, water and geological features create patterns in the landscape that are reminiscent of Arabic calligraphy and how western and eastern landscapes come together and yet remain so distinctly different and distant from each other. Louafi’s work challenges us to think more deeply about landscape. This is what the Conference organised by the Maghreb Landscape Research Network will also be aiming to do.
After learning about the Conference, to be held at the Mohamed Boudiaf University of Science and Technology (USTOMB) on 22 and 23 May, M Louafi kindly rearranged his exhibition to coincide with the Conference and workshop at which he will also be a speaker. His participation will be of great interest to those attending, including among others, students and their teachers from Algeria, Tunisia and France now training to be the future planners, managers and guardians of our landscapes.
Kamal Louafi was first employed as a cartographer, mapping landscapes and preparing inventories of forests in Algeria. This experience awakened his interest and fascination with landscape and the fragility of eco-systems and habitats. It led him “to look at everything with different eyes“, prompting him to develop his career as a landscape architect, and fostering a curiosity to discover diverse landscapes in other countries.
He has since taught and written extensively about his experiences and worked as a landscape architect in many parts of the world. The Oran event forms part of a touring exhibition of his work which is being held in several North African and European cities in 2023.
LRG Maghreb is pleased to have secured Kamel’s participation and we look forward to his exhibition and talk, in anticipation that it will inspire students and others to join in the online debate and response to the Conference theme: “Towards a Landscape Convention for the Maghreb“.