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Q&A with Artisans Solidaires Kasserine

Based in the Kasserine region of Tunisia along the Algerian border, this collective of mostly women artisans uses natural materials and ancestral techniques to create baskets, rugs and pottery imbued with local terroir.

What are your products?
We make pottery, halfa basketry, and woven products. They are all handmade from natural materials and natural colorants. The halfa basketry is an ancestral technique found only in the Kasserine region of Tunisia, where we are located.

How are your products made?
We work in groups at a home to make the products together, which is typical for women in rural areas of Tunisia. All of the products require precision and patience. We find patterns and shapes in traditional carpets and furniture, and mix them with modern style.

What inspired you to start your business?
We started working with our mothers to learn the craft and skills needed to make these products. The Centre d’Innovation et d’Entrepeneuriat Social (CIES) helped us establish our company, Artisans Solidaires Kasserine. We travel to craft fairs across Tunisia to share our work with others. These fairs are both fun and good for business.

A kanoun, typically used to barbecue vegetables and meat. Here, we use it as a centerpiece.

What does Tunisia mean to you?
It is our country.

What is one thing every visitor to Tunisia should experience?
Eat couscous.

What do you wish the world knew about Tunisia?
We wish the world knew more about Tunisian culture and tradition.

Artisan weaving a halfa rug. (Image: Artisans Solidaire Kasserine)

All photos by soukra.co, unless indicated.

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