Figuig is an oasis on the eastern border of Morocco, just two kilometers from Algeria, where Berber and Arab cultures have fused. Figuig is home to one of the oldest palm groves between the High Eastern and Saharan Atlas mountains; despite the fact that the palm grove has always been a viable means of subsistence for the inhabitants, who trade with their neighbouring cities, the sustainability of the oasis today is largely due to the remittance of many emigrants. Figuig’s women, as in the best tradition, are the custodians of family and home care, but they also carry the tradition of vertical weaving, creating wonderful rugs that relate stories.
The project Woven stories of the Artefatto Association is the follow-up to a first co-development project between the Lombardy region and the Oriental region of Morocco launched in 2012, which trained 50 women in weaving studios, at weaving, hand-embroidery, crochet hook and basket weaving and a sample of 30 products was produced.
The Marcegaglia Foundation has chosen to invest again in this project to make it sustainable and to launch the Oasis of Figuig on the Italian and Moroccan markets. In particular, a co-operative will be set up to provide beneficiaries with a fiscal and institutional framework to dialogue with suppliers and customers and thus enable them to position themselves on the markets. The training will also be extended to new beneficiaries thanks to the support of the women who have already been trained and with the supervision of a local designer and a female coordinator. Thanks to the enhancement of technical training and enterprise development, a production will be carried out to ensure the supply to identified stores, 2 in Marrakesh and one in Milan where to launch the collection.