Garden of Africa: Interview with Rachid Koraïchi

The Markaz Review | Rose Issa
One of Algeria’s most eminent international artists has created another beautiful garden, this time to honor the anonymous migrants or harragas who have fallen at sea.
Visual artist Rachid Koraïchi was born in the Aurès region of Algeria. He has set up studios in various countries around the world, depending on what projects he is working on. His search for the best artisan "magicians" follows his creative path. From the outset he has built a deep, friendly complicity with the great poets and writers of the past century. He is also inspired by ancient texts. This versatile artist, linked to the Koraïchi family of the Prophet Muhammad, is deeply spiritual. His most recent project is Jardin d'Afrique (Garden of Africa), a cemetery for irregular migrants in the coastal town of Zarzis, southern Tunisia.
ROSE ISSA: Rachid, how did this project originate?
RACHID KORAÏCHI: My daughter Aïcha, vice-chair of Action Against Hunger in London, alerted me to the existence of a public landfill site where the bodies of migrants washed up by the sea were deposited at Zarzis. For me, that seemed so unlikely that I wanted to go there with her. I contacted Mongi Slim of the Tunisian Red Crescent (humanitarian organization affiliated with the Red Cross), who took us to the site. I was so shocked by what I saw, I decided to purchase some land to create a decent burial site.
June 4, 2023
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