In Tunisia, next to resort hotels, private beaches and tourist bars, locals find their space to rest by the sea, constructing their own one-day shelters. Fascinated by these ephemeral camps, photographer Yoann Cimier started to document them in a poetic and painterly way.
“In an environment delivered to those who disfigure it, Tunisians spontaneously erect an architecture of happiness.”
Standing at the crossroad of documentary and fine art photography, the images from the ‘Nomad’s Land’ series catch perfectly the people’s need to create their own, human-scale paradise on earth. Cimier, who is particularly interested in the interaction between man and the environment, was struck by how the holiday shelters in fact reflected the combination of economic, social and cultural background of their owners. A miniature image of the society, the shelters also show a big creativity of the people who built them. With the variety of shapes, materials and spatial arrangements, they all reflect Tunisian’s spiritual relationship with the environment. In the artist’s statement, Cimier says: “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.”
All images © Yoann Cimier