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Reflecting the Afro-Berber culture and indigenous endogenous practices through paintings

Amine Naima's paintings are inspired by the geometric grammar of the Afro-Berber culture and ancestral endogenous practices.

Berber—Generic name given to the indigenous tribes of North Africa by the Greeks, who referred to all North Africans as “barbarians” or foreigners. The diverse indigenous people of North Africa refer to themselves as Amazigh (pl. Imazighen), meaning “noble ones.” Ethnically Caucasian, they are close to the Semites. Their language, Tamazigh, of the Afro-Asiatic group, uses Arabic, Hebrew, Latin, or Tamazigh letters. The Berber live in ten North African countries, including the Maghrib nations and Egypt. Most Berbers converted to Islam and adopted Arab/Islamic traditions. The majority of Berber live in Morocco and Algeria in the regions of the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert.

Acrylic on Canvas, 120 cm x 90 cm, 2022.

These abstract patterns inspired by mathematics reflect Amine's state of mind and the result of the professional experiences of scenography and staging of the performing arts.

Acrylic on canvas, 60 cm × 60 cm, 2021.

This multiplicity of subjects and mediums comes from Amine's childhood in Safi, rich in symbols, techniques, and appropriate knowledge from the master potters of the city. Traditionally, those symbols and signs are found in pottery, textiles, carved or painted wood, leather works, jewelry, amulets, and tattoos.

The improvisation of compositions inspired by traditional signs and symbols is an act against the colonial approaches that imposed foreign languages and cultures and the subsequent curtailment of liberties in the postcolonial era.

Acrylic on canvas, 59 cm × 59 cm, 2021.

Amine also practices meditative painting, the fundamentals of which Amine learned from indigenous pottery artisans.

Acrylic on canvas, 60 cm × 60 cm, 2021.

These reminiscences of Amine’s childhood feed and unite the whole of his multidisciplinary practice. Amine’s art is inspired by the mixture of this geometric language that existed in North Africa, from the Islamic arts, also indigenous practices that created a visual richness in this area, also his research related to geometry in general, in nature, and through the whole art history. When all these things meet together, the result is Amine and his artwork.

Acrylic on canvas, 60 cm × 60 cm, 2021.


About Amine Naima

Born and raised in Safi - Morocco, in a creative environment, where he was introduced to pottery practice and its aesthetics since his childhood. This has left a lasting impression on him. After studying scenography at “Institut spécialisé dans les métiers du cinema” (ISMC) Ouarzazate, he obtained a professional Bachelor’s degree in cinema, audiovisual and mediation at Cadi Ayad University Marrakech. He has worked as a decorator for music events and interiors and has also developed a pictorial practice in the pottery arts, as well as a keen interest in audio-visual media. Amine Naima won the Green Olive art residency Grant for 2022 Fall and had exhibitions in Morocco, England, the USA, Korea, and Vietnam. Curious and interested in learning and mastering new techniques and concepts, Amine still wishes to expand his range of mediums and subjects.


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