Reasoned Cartography of Tunisian Crafts

Partners (Public & Private)
This project is a research project which purpose is to produce a dematerialized mapping of the handcraft object and is divided into several phases of research and investigation.
Molka Haj Salem
+216.71 781 467
The craft object is at the heart of a reflection on its present and its future. Question the past, immerse yourself in the present and sense the future. This is the approach taken in this project of "Reasoned Cartography of handcrafted objects in Tunisia". How to think about crafts future in Tunisia, without questioning the definition of the craft object, its knowledge and traditional craftsmanship, its specificity, its plurality and its trace. An evolving definition takes into account the inherent parameters in the durability of the object.
An evolving definition that takes into account the underlying factors for the sustainability of the object.

Handcraft is an essentially manual production, holding symbolic dimensions and that responds to a custom. It is a language carrying a memory based on a kind of visual grammar.

Il est aussi la magie de la matière, l’exigence de la mise en œuvre, l’expertise technique, la richesse d’indices et
de gestes transmis et acquis bien souvent en atelier ou en famille. It is also the magic of the earth material, the requirement of the implementation, the technical expertise, the wealth of the indicators and gestures transmitted and acquired very often in workshops or within families.  It must meet objective factors: cultural, economic and social. 

Defining the handcrafted object in Tunisia, leads to questioning four foundations that interact
between each other: ethics, language, matter and territory. It is the prism through which we are able to understand a concrete and transversal approach: Understanding the territory with its distinctive features, its mixes, its history, its culture, its imagination and its memory, respecting ethical values: Quality and honesty. 
Question the formal, conceptual, gestural language of the tradition and the collective imagination, dialogue with the material that "The hand of the craftsman magnifies" and that the know-how of yesterday and today reveals.
Ultimately, this approach stands out by its probity, the richness of its cultural heritage, by hits intelligence for adaptability, by its ingenuity and virtuosity in serving tradition.

In this perspective, the National Office of Tunisian Crafts (ONAT) and the Rambourg Foundation have signed a partnership agreement on July 11, 2018. This agreement is based upon the creation of a digital platform for professionals in the sector, allowing them to access specific information about crafts in each region of the country.  It is a digital map which preserves and exchanges data from the craft sector at a local, regional and national level. This will allow users to easily access all of the information they need online and document themselves as requested.

A very important secret lies in the handcraft objects. These particular objects which, against all expectations, have survived the industrial era and are experiencing today, a revival of global interest … This secret is what I call the soul of a civilization. What shapes us as a collective and makes us belong to an aesthetic, is what produces the visual heritage in which we are evolving. And I tend to think that the more a society maintains a lively and honest discourse with this soul, the healthier and stronger it is.