Imagine the “blue people”, rugged, free and proud, leading lines of dromedaries as they travel from oasis to oasis across the vast expanses of the Sahara. But wait! Let’s not go any further with the simplistic clichés. This exhibition, which has a few surprises in store, aims to set the record straight.
The Tuaregs are without question nomads.
However, they are also skilled craftspeople who produce understated, geometric and contemporary jewellery. They are poets and artists with a lively, beautiful culture that is constantly evolving.
What is less known is that, far from being cut off from the rest of the world, they excel at bringing together tradition and modernity. They claim an identity that they want to preserve as an integral part of themselves.
The exhibition, which is illustrated with Tuareg poetry and music, covers the following themes in succession: “the fantasised image”, “reconstructing culturally aesthetic ideals” and “Tuaregs engaged in their identity”.
280 objects are exhibited, from watercolours to archival documents, adverts, posters and comics. There are also many everyday tools and symbolic objects (such as weapons and saddles), as well as jewellery and amulets, leather goods and textiles.
The exhibition ends with photographs taken by journalist Arnaud Contreras, who contributed his knowledge of the contemporary Tuareg world to help prepare the exhibition.
Access to the Musée des Confluences and the exhibitions are included in the Lyon City Card.