Tuesday, March 27, 2012

(empo-sadr) Saharawi bottle business

One of the ironies in the Saharawi situation is that most of the people who believe that they are part of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic actually live outside the country, in refugee camps in Algeria. And normally refugee camps are not the subject of discussion in a business blog.

But this is an exception:

French designer Florie Salnot's Plastic Bottle Project is different. The designs are stunning and the production technique is magical! Using what is readily available at the refugee camp: plastic bottles, hot sand, simple hand tools and a long tradition of craft, the Saharawi refugees in Western Sahara now generate an income which reduces their dependency on humanitarian aid.

More here, including pictures.

Also see what Florie Salnot has written:

The Saharawi refugees are located in one of the most hostile and barren deserts of the world, in the remote south-western corner of Algeria, near the town of Tindouf. In these camps, there is virtually no work and resources. The Saharawis are dependent on precarious aid flows (food and other essential aid for survival).

For more than 35 years, they have been attempting to perpetuate a distinctive Saharawi society. However, under these extreme conditions, it is quite difficult. The craft tradition for instance is almost not practiced anymore. It is challenged by the availability of materials.

Until plastic bottles came to the rescue.
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