Design for Peace

Design for Peace



May 20 – July 23, 2016
Tuesday – Saturday
2:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Launching party
Friday May 20, 2016
from 6:00 pm

Made in Town
58 rue du Vertbois
75003 Paris

Design for Peace presents at Made in Town its first collection of decorative objects and fashion accessories: Transhumance. It is the result of seven weeks of collaborative work between seventeen Malian Tuareg craftsmen – now taking refuge in Burkina Faso – and six young French designers, who were gathered in Ouagadougou for a 50 day residency.

Initiated in 2015 by the Afrika Tiss association, with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Design for Peace project aims to improve the autonomy and integration of craftsmen taking refuge in Burkina Faso by promoting their skills and increasing their production capacity in contact with local artisans. In a global context where the influx of refugees continues to grow, Design for Peace intends to build a lever for the social and economic development of these vulnerable populations, so that refugees are no longer considered as a security threat but as a genuine pool of talent.

Photo credit: Design for Peace

Between March and April 2016, the residency brought together seventeen Tuareg artisans and six young French designers – professionals or students – who were carefully selected in France and in Burkina Faso. Providing an opportunity to mix cultures and experience new skills, the Transhumance collection presents several technical innovations: palmyra inlay (a palm native of the tropical regions in Sahelian Africa), plant fiber and rubber weaving, calabash leather casing or knitting, among others.

Photo credit: Design for Peace

The Transhumance collection interweaves two different worlds, from both a cultural and an aesthetic perspective: the Tuareg legacy and the spirit of young Parisian designers. Named after the Tuareg peoples and their nomadic way of life, the collection is made of fifteen objects – decorative items and fashion accessories – in leather, wood, metal, vegetable fibers, which, by their functions, shapes or materials, refer to specific moments in the life of Saharan nomads.

Photo credit: Design for Peace

Since 2012, Burkina Faso has been one of the leading host countries for refugees fleeing the ongoing conflict in Mali. The Goudebou and Mentao camps in the north of Burkina Faso gather more than 20 000 people, mostly Tuaregs, in precarious living conditions. Tuaregs are communities of breeders, many of whom master a handcraft but are struggling to sell their products or to invest in high quality raw materials.

Photo credit: Design for Peace

The artisans involved in the project are meant to become trainers themselves in order to pass on to other craftsmen the techniques and standards required for the qualitative reproduction of the prototypes which were developed during the residency. Ultimately, Design for Peace plans to involve more than 200 local artisans and refugees in this improved production process which allows them to access more upscale distribution networks, locally and internationally.

As highlighted by Mariette Chapel, founder of Afrika Tiss, Burkina Faso is the first step of a solidarity trip that the association wishes to pursue in other regions facing a large influx of refugees, with no prospect of immediate return to their native country.

The objects from the Transhumance collection are exhibited in Paris at Made in Town, from May 20 to July 23, 2016, and at the French Institute in Ouagadougou from June 3 to July 10, 2016.

Photo credit: Design for Peace

With the participation of: Cathy Amouroux, fashion and textile designer, Marta Bakowski, product designer, Adrien Leroux, cabinetmaker and designer, Pierre Murot, product designer, Oriane Pereira Lino, textile designer and embroiderer, Claire Tingaud, textile designer specialized in weaving and embroidery, Ousmane Ag Agafane, leather and jewelry, Hado Wt Sidia, leather, Bintou Wt Mohamed, leather, Mohamed Youssouf Ag Sidi, leather, Waneibi Ag Elmehdi, leather and jewelry, Hadijata Wt Agali, basketry, Fadimata Wt Agali, leather and calabash pyrography, Sidi Mohamed Ag Elmehdou, goldsmithery, Mohamed ou Bebe Ag Moha, leather and jewelry, Abdoulaye Ag Alassane, leather and metal, Assadek Ag Egless, leather, wood and metal, Fadimata Wallet Houssa, leather, Aïchalala Wallet Zahit, braiding and basketry, Iss Ag Egless, leather, wood and metal, Aïcha Wallet Mohamed, painting, Issa Ag Maha, leather, wood and metal, Oumar Ag Agali, leather and wood, Zeinabou Wallet Hakimou, leather.

Afrika Tiss in partnership with: UNHCR, Centre for Culture and Developement (CKU), Ecole Boulle, Institut français, Made in Town, D’Days, Ysomer,Les Filles du Facteur / Facteur Céleste, MoonLook, Tiss&Tik, Sok’Sabaï.