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Researches in the oasis of Siwa


Vincent Battesti

The objective with Siwa is to understand the practices and perceptions of oasian space by carrying out an anthropology of space and landscapes. My actors inthe oases are not all local agents, since I also integrate the tourists and the agents of development (Gouvernorate, Ministry of Agriculture, and international organizations). These handle registers (which should form socioecological resources - ressources sociolécologiques) which are not either always rooted in the place.

These practices and perceptions of oasis spaces can be transcribed in terms of tensions between the global and the local: it is verified to a certain extent, but it is more promising to think in terms of competences, arrangements and negotiations on the questions of relations to the environment. It is as a question of studying the question of the landscape and its evolution in Siwa, a question that arise objectively Isiwan people when they control less and less their opening on the “elsewhere”. In Siwa, I pose also the problem of the sociabilities (internal and external to the gardens) and, partially, the same questions and same methodologies than in Cairo are imperative.

The work is carried out by (more or less) participating observation (according to the thematic) and interviews. I also proceed to an inventory of the agricultural techniques in use in the gardens of palm plantations, the establishment of a siwi (Berber) lexicon, and the observation of the practices, this in order to enlighten the classifying systems (biological material as well as landscapes and spaces).

Agrandir le plan

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Vincent Battesti , "Researches in the oasis of Siwa " (online), Anthropoasis |, page published 12 February 2006 (consulted 1 May 2024), available on: