Impressions embarquées (working title), translated as Embedded Impressions started as a project in 2016 as part of the Under Sand project in Gafsa, a territory located in the south of Tunisia, whose history dates back to ancient times. The discovery of phosphate in this territory in the colonial era in 1886 by Philippe THOMAS, founder in 1897 of the Phosphate and Railways Company of Gafsa caused significant modification of the different landscapes of this city, at various levels: social, political, economic and ecological.
Metlaoui, Molarès and Redeyef are the three big villages (called today fillettes by the inhabitants) in which the settlers settled to extract phosphate.
The result is the creation of three Western villages with Western architecture, churches, trading rooms, cinemas and houses for mining engineers in the arid region at the gateway to the Tunisian desert. Today, these buildings – colonial heritage – are poorly safeguarded and partly abandoned or transformed and are under the power of the CPG (Gafsa phosphate company). This project is therefore interested in what remains of this heritage.
The research project led by Souad Mani will initiate early in 2018, at which point we will start documenting and disseminating relevant knowledge and experiences.