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The Berberes

Rui Pires | Morocco

Organization: Larsa Human Rights Iraq NGO

The Sahara is the world's hottest desert, the third largest desert after Antarctica and the Arctic. At over 9,400,000 square kilometres (3,600,000 sq mi), it covers most of North Africa, making it almost as large as China or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean. To the south, it is delimited by the Sahel, a belt of semi-arid tropical savanna that composes the northern region of central and western Sub-Saharan Africa. Sahara is the home of Berberes.

"The Berberes" is an essay from Rui Pires' long-term project "Lands of Allah", a social documentary about the Berbere tribes in North of Africa that he started in 2009.

Berberes are the indigenous ethnic group of North Africa, west of the Nile Valley to Morocco. Historically they speak the Berber language and local varieties of it. Foreign languages like French and Spanish, inherited from European occupation, are used by some educated Berbers in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria in some formal contexts such as higher education or business.

The presence of the Arabic language and dialects is due to the spread of Islam and to the immigration of some Arab tribes to the region centuries ago. A Berber is not necessarily only someone who happens to speak Berber. The Berber identity is usually wider than language and ethnicity, and encompasses the entire history and geography of North Africa.

Touaregs are a special Berbere tribe.

Rui Pires is Portuguese and born in 1968. The passion for photography began in 1983 as an amateur photographer. It is considered a photographer with a classical and humanist style, and is dedicated primarily to documentary photography.
In 2006 Rui Pires began a project that aims to document the life in Portuguese rural villages undergoing desertification, the “Rural Moments” project. The project still running.
In 2009 Rui Pires began the “Lands of Allah” project, a documentary about the life of the nomad tribes of Berbere-Touareg people in north of Africa and Sahara desert..
He have many publications in web, magazines and newspapers in many countries. He have also won prizes and awards in exhibitions and photography contests.
With influences of Doisneau, Eisenstaedt, Adams and Salgado. he tries to achieve a humanistic approach to documentary photography and always try to dignify the people he portrays. Rui Pires shoots primarily in medium and large format with black and white film and he controls the entire photographic process, from capture, processing film and printing.

Actually he produce high quality fine-art prints of his photography in signed and limited series for art collectors worldwide and have many of his works in private collections.

Rui Pires is member have a degree in Image Analysis and Evaluation by Photographic Society of America.

Rui Pires is "Photography Instructor" of Education Services in PSA - Photographic Society of America.
Since 2011, Rui Pires becomes a Independent Curator, first in Onexposure 1X web Gallery, and actually work as Curator for some NGO Foundations and Governments.
Rui Pires is graduate in Professional Photography by New York Institute of Photography.

Honorary Member of Larsa Human Rights Iraq NGO

Under Larsa Human Rights Iraq NGO and since 2011 Rui Pires helps promote documentary and humanist photography in Iraq and already co-organizated 7 exhibitions in Baghdad and some Kurdistan citys between Iraqi photographers and Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese and many other photographers form all world.

This helped to promote the photography as a international language of love between the countrys and helped to promote Human Rights in Iraq.

rui.f.pires@netvisao.pt

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