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Karyati Hayati

Karyati Hayati (My village, my life) is the title of the project that Hassan Darsi is currently working on. This project is intimately linked to a site, the Beni Aïssi village located in the heart of the Benslimane forest, and to a situation. It is essential at first to set the scene for the project as the history of this village and the involvement of the artist in this site are interdependent.

The Benslimane forest is the green lung of Morocco with some 25% of the forested area of the territory. At a time of climate emergencies and environmental protection, and after the general mobilization of the Kingdom and its commitments for COP 22, protect the environment, public health, the living environment of populations and the preservation natural and landscape resources is as much a duty as a priority. The Beni Aïssi douar enjoys a rare and precious environmental setting between small farms, hills, rivers and forests. The biodiversity of the fauna and flora flourish there in a harmonious balance, preserved by its inhabitants, who were born there, have lived and worked there for many generations.

A few years ago, quarrying disrupted the quality of life in the douar and the symbiosis between man and nature was considerably shaken. Today, it is an entire hill, its forest, its fauna, its flora and the local residents who live and work there who are threatened by a new quarry project and the politico-financial vampirism of multinational corporations eyeing agricultural land to feed their cement works. Faced with such projects, the inhabitants are distraught, alone and often poorly organized; they experience real and imagined fear of the authorities. The youngest often have no alternative but to work in these same careers which destroy their place of life and devalue their heritage.

Hassan Darsi has lived in this village for eight years and he is both a witness and concerned by what is happening there. Opposite to this career project, he proposed to the inhabitants to unite around another: the creation of an agro-ecological village which unites them around a real life project. This project is being implemented and the artist accompanies it as a witness who archives this adventure through a film production, and as an artist who activates artistic, cultural and ecological projects to contribute to this social construction.

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