Statement of Ag Mohamed Ali Yehia

What are the most important values of the Tuareg culture?

I would like to answer to this question, which could be very broadly defined, that the Tuareg culture is based on the term “ACHAK”. “ACHAK” is a concept combining several values: it includes respect for the elderly, strangers, people of the opposite sex. Bravery, courage and patience during adversities are also part of it. Furthermore, “Achak” includes generosity, hospitality and solidarity with the community.

How is the Tuareg culture changing?

The traditional Tuareg society was mostly nomadic, a way of life that protected them from the negative influences of contact with the outside world. After independence, the Tuareg were confronted with direct and indirect violence of the post-colonial states. This violence included the massacres by national armies. Also, there were many successive drought disasters. The rebellions that followed the drought catastrophe and their reprisals by force of arms of the local authorities have heavily destroyed Tuareg societies. These aggressions forced many Tuareg to emigrate to Arab countries. Some Tuareg also had to settle in cities and adopt a different way of life.

What can the Tuareg culture contribute to the future?

The developed concept of the “Achak” is the best contribution of the Tuareg culture for the future. The “Achak” concept is the cement of the Tuareg society.

What are the lost values of the traditional culture that the Tuareg people regret today?

The value, whose loss the Tuareg regret most, is the freedom of movement. For the Tuareg, the “being constantly in motion” of nomadic life is an important way of life. This freedom of movement is restricted by the borders of the modern states and has recently been hindered by many conflicts in the Tuareg areas.

Which importance does he see in the museum and to whom would he recommend the visit?

The importance of the virtual Africa Online Museum is at least threefold:

– to bring African art to a very wide public, which does not always have the opportunity to visit Africa or specialised museums.

– to give Africans, especially the younger generation of social networks, the opportunity to reconnect with their culture.

– to give Africans a better knowledge of Africa.

Africa is very diverse and this museum gives an insight into this country. I will recommend this museum to art curators in Africa for the promotion of their gallery or museum, African intellectuals and art lovers all over the world.