Tunisia-based photographer Yoann Cimier, fascinated by the ephemeral constructions of the country’ s nomadic life, strolled around the spectacular mediterranean seaside to capture the results of this aestival appropriation. To him, “it is not a trivial phenomenon: each constituent element of these short-lived camps is a revelation. Observing how the local population takes possession of the seaside for a day reflects the dynamics and diversity of Tunisian society”.
Yoann’s lens documents the informal ways in which people interact with their environment and sometimes unexpectedly alluring artifacts may emerge.
Without a predetermined plan, the visitors assemble all kinds of materials, crafting a series of unique, custom-made lodgings. A random, yet conscious mishmash emerges, full of a lived-in architecture sense.
In Tunisia, next to Resort Hotels’ private beaches, local people settle in public beaches every summer, improvising an ephemeral habitat for the day, a micro architecture connected with nature.1
Wilderness camping, vernacular shelters or expression of the Bedouin tradition, these nomads bubbles embedded in the sand show as many solutions implemented to fully enjoy the pleasures of the beach.2
“Horizontality, verticality, angle, curvature, continuity, discontinuity, superposition, dissociation of constructed space … behind the apparent simplicity of form, the combination and juxtaposition of these elements are complex causal relations : economic social and cultural data, determined by the architectural answer. In an environment delivered to those who disfigure it, Tunisians spontaneously erect an architecture of happiness, soothing and poetic, contrasting with the hegemony of starred hotels, where luxury and comfort are often only promises of happiness”.3
Formal expression of Tunisians’ mythical and spiritual relationship Tunisians with their environment, this micro nomadic architecture has the virtue of showing us the opportunity to recreate at a human scale, a small paradise on earth.
Extracts 1,2 and 3 can be found within Yoann Cimier’s english-french book, Nomad’s Land. Get a copy here.