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GRN | Algerian artist Rachid Koraïchi highlights the importance of intercultural dialogue through art

Rachid Koraïchi was born in Ain Beida (Algeria) in 1947. He currently lives and works between France and Tunisia. Artist, sculptor, engraver and potter, known for his contemporary art that integrates calligraphy as a graphic element, has given the conference "Islamic ornamentation in the work of Rachid Koraichi" at the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies, within the I Conference on Islamic Ornamentation organized by the José Val del Omar School of Art in Granada.

Koraïchi has pointed out the need to achieve a solid artistic training and has recalled his beginnings as a student at the Institut de Beaux Arts and at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Algeria, later moving to France to continue his studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs and at the Institut d'Urbanisme de l'Académie de Paris.

He has highlighted the importance of integrating the different artistic trades in his works. His research in the field of sculpture extends to a wide variety of media, with his installations including metals, textiles, ceramics, and painted works on paper or fabric. In this sense, he congratulated the School of Art for organizing the 1st Conference on Islamic Ornamentation, "creating synergies between the different academic specialties, expanding training on Islamic ornamentation and assimilating the language of Islamic ornamentation as a plastic influence of modernity ". He has also highlighted the "link between Granada and other cultures beyond the borders of the Iberian Peninsula through a common aesthetic heritage".

Koraïchi has presented his most emblematic works, with works full of symbols of Arab, African and Western cultures and graphics that refer to the essential values ​​of humanity and intercultural dialogue.

Among his latest works is the "Garden of Africa", a cemetery and memorial built as a commemorative resting place in Zarzis, south of Tunisia, for the many migrants who drowned while crossing the Mediterranean Sea, inaugurated on June 9, 2021, in presence of the Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azouley.

"It's a paradise on earth," commented Koraïchi, who promoted this project since 2018 "because of the outrage caused by seeing the anonymous corpses thrown in landfills." At the end of that year he bought the place where the cemetery is located today, demonstrating that "art can deal with the most important issues, promote compassion and make a difference in the face of great suffering."

Koraïchi, who in 2019 exhibited part of his extensive work in the first retrospective exhibition held in Spain in the exhibition "This long journey to your gaze", organized by the Casa Árabe at its headquarters in Madrid and Córdoba, has declared his fascination for the city of Granada and his desire to hold an exhibition in the city.

His work has been exhibited internationally (Venice Biennale in 2001, MOMA in 2006) and is part of the collection of the National Museum of African Art, Washington DC He collaborates with the galleries October Gallery (London) and Aicon Gallery (New York).

The I International Conference on Islamic Ornamentation, which took place from April 25 to 29, has had the participation of the Territorial Delegation of Education and Sports in Granada, Granada Teachers' Center, San José de Tablas School, Fundación Robles Pozo , Granada City Council, Cultural Meetings of the Mediterranean, Andalusian Public Foundation The Andalusian Legacy and the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies.