In May 2024 I travelled to Morocco to live and work in the Sahara desert for one month. Situated in an oasis, the tiny traditional Berber village of Tissardmine, comprising of 20 houses, is a short drive or long walk away from one of the Sahara’s most extraordinary natural phenomenons, Erg Chebbi, a large dune stretching 22 kms long and 5 kms wide and peaking up to 150 metres high. Formed by wind blown sand, Erg Chebbi is celebrated for its unique golden-orange sand formations that start at the most northern tip of the Sahara and undulate across Morocco to Tomboctou. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
The Residency: During the residency I worked towards the creation of a new film about a local myth/ story. I also made multiple sketches that will be turned into paintings. More about that soon...

Desert Portal ll

Desert Lifestyle: The desert is a delicate and subtle environment. On the surface it appears desolate and empty, devoid of life but if one looks closely, there are myriad lifeforms working together for survival, including the people who share the land. Plants can lay dormant until they spring into life after a good (and rare) rain. Animals that inhabit the desert are generally nocturnal, choosing to hunt and scavenge in the cooler hours. Many people of the land are nomads, travelling from place to place to find the food to feed their herds of goats, sheep and camels. The introduction of tourism to this region has had a remarkable effect on this balance and the way of life for many here but hospitality remains generous and warm.

Picknick in the desert

Ali in the desert during a local music performance.

Ancient and Future: Around 350 million years ago, this region was submerged under the sea. Evidence of this ancient ocean can be seen in the petrified coral reefs at Tissardmine, where fossils like ammonites, trilobites, and belemnites abound. Ancient rock carvings in the area depict rhinos, giraffes, and elephants, hinting at a diverse past ecosystem. Fast forward to July 18, 2011, when a meteorite from Mars landed 350 kilometers from Tissardmine. Small fragments of this meteorite can still be found today.

Residency space in Tissardmine

The local town of Rissani

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