Desert Design Berber Carpets Added to Museum Collection in Marrakech

Rabat – The Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) Museum in Marrakech has announced that its new exhibition, “Desert Design,” will showcase the “incredible talent of Berber weavers.”The exhibition, which will run from June 16 to October 8, will feature 30 rugs woven by women of the Aït Khebbach tribe, from the easternmost region of Morocco.The vibrancy and patterns of the rugs, as well as the recycled material used to make them, “bear witness to the remarkable creativity of these Berber weavers, and contrast with the harsh and desolate environment in which they live,” said the YSL Museum in a statement. The YSL museum, next to the famed Majorelle Garden that once belonged to Yves Saint Laurent, opened its doors in 2017. As well as housing a permanent exhibition hall displaying the works of Yves Saint Laurent, the museum also houses a hall for temporary exhibitions, where the “Desert Design” exhibition will be on display.Arnaud Maurieres, the co-curator of the exhibition, explained in the statement how the ‘Desert Design” came to be. “In December 2010, we were exploring the eastern Moroccan desert, a vast plain devoid of trees, shadows, and water. It was there, in the middle of nowhere, that we came upon two modest earthen structures: the home of our guide, Lahcen, and his family,” Maurieres explained.“Nine people lived within the walls; there was nothing in the unpainted interior that resembled furniture. The only thing we noticed was a pile of rugs in the corner of one of the rooms.”“As they were unfolded to welcome us, the floor suddenly seemed dappled with vibrant colors, which astounded us. Lahcen told us that all the women of his tribe wove such rugs, and asked if we wanted to meet them. It was how our adventure began.”Moroccan designer Younes Duret is to credit for the design of the exhibition. The second co-curator, along with Arnaud Maurieres, is Christine Bouilloc.Bouilloc is the director of the Musee Bargoin de Clermont-Ferrand in Clermont Auvergne Metropole, France,  which is cosponsoring the exhibition. The exhibition will travel to the Musee Bargoin de Clermont-Ferrand after Marrakech, and be on display there from 2 November 2019 through 5 April 2020.Read also: Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech Wins 2018 ‘AFEX’ for its Architecture read more

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Peeling away from big corporations smaller farmers gain greater hold in banana

“The competition among banana producing countries is fierce, and many have struggled to remain competitive, but there are also new opportunities, as the market is no longer dominated by big players – and new buyers are entering the market,” said Ekaterina Krivonos, economist at the Trade and Markets Division in the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).In a new report on the changing nature of the global banana trade, FAO said that the combined market share of the three largest multinational banana traders fell from 65.3 per cent in the 1980s to 36.6 per cent in 2013.The scope of operations of these companies – Chiquita, Dole and Del Monte – has moved away from plantation ownership and production to post-production logistics, including transportation and marketing, noted the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Bananas and Tropical Fruits.Last month, Chiquita, the largest of these companies, merged with Flyffes, one of the main suppliers to the European market.With new opportunities for smaller farmers, the UN agency said banana producers need to be better informed and better prepared.“In this changing market structure, it is vital that smallholders, as well as producer organizations, receive support in all of these areas, to be fully included in their national economies and to build the resilience of farming families in the banana industry,” said Kaison Chang, Secretary of the FAO Intergovernmental Group.The Rome-based agency is working with Governments and producers to help them build their viability by maintaining good cultivation practices, preventing and fighting plant diseases, strengthening producer organizations and developing both domestic and international marketing strategies, according to the report. read more

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