"History is made up of little stories, forgotten memories, anecdotes..." A.Tsing

Since the 19th century, the Indo-Muslim community has been established on Reunion Island, although few public archives bear witness to its history. During his residency at Ravate,Yassine Ben Abdallah searched through family archives, gathering stories and memories in an attempt to capture fragments of the Indo-Muslim history of La Réunion.

From this research emerges Ālamārī, a piece of furniture that sets out both to narrate the story and to contain the artifacts of a community. Ālamārī features three removable shelves conveying religion, family and commerce, wich are the fundamental tryptich of the community's life.
Tamarind wood, endemic to both La Réunion and India, links these two territories while also recalling the origins of the Ravate group, which was founded on the trade of local wood by the patriarch Issop Ravate.
Turmeric-dyed jute ropes evoke the community's trading origins and the bean sacks found in Zarabs stores.
Enveloping the cabinet, the half-silk, half-cotton fabric called Mashru (Arabic for "permissible", as the skins of Muslim men cannot come into contact with silk), materializes a space of opacity, a threshold of intimacy.
Finally, the basalt tenons symbolize the integration and rootedness of a community that is now part of the island’s identity.

In-residence project at the Ravate Foundation
Created in collaboration with
Materra Matang
Aymeric Delmas
Photos by
Zevi Studio
↓ Personal archive from Mohammed Shereen

Want to know more ?

Get in touch