• For the 20 year old Amine Tighri to feel that he is still alive and to remind himself of his biggest dream, to flee from Algeria, he has tattooed himself with needle and mascara: I want to live - but where and with whom?
  • A group of friends meet every evening in a park near the port of Algiers. They spend their evenings smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and talk about football. “What else would we do?” The 20-25 year-olds are all unemployed and live with their parents where they are not particularly welcome: “This is our family.”
  • Unemployed Ahmed Belhadj and his pregnant wife Farisha have nowhere to live, so they live on the roof of his mother’s building in central Algiers. They are so ashamed of their desperate situation, that only after sunset, they crawl onto the roof and wait until darkness has descended over the city before they roll out their blankets.
  • 31 year old Norrdine Khelfaoui is unemployed and dreams of leaving Algeria every day. He has completely lost faith in the future and has attempted suicide several times. He lives with his parents and nine siblings. Therefore he lives pretty much his whole life on the streets, especially at night because there is more room to sleep in the tiny apartment during the day when the rest of the family is not there.
  • A typical residential block in a suburb of Algiers. French colonials built the affordable housing complex in a hurry, at the time of Algerian independence in 1962. All apartments have their own satellite dish, to be able to follow the news outside of Algeria, and to watch the hugely popular European football matches.
  • 24 year old Abdel Harachi is unemployed and a heavy drug addict who earns a little money to keep an eye on cars in a street in the centre of Algiers. Unauthorized traffic wardens are a widespread phenomenon in the Arab world, and at night you see these young men living on the streets to receive a few coins in gratitude when the owner of a car picks it up in the morning. He has been in and out of prison numerous times, and tried to get aboard a ship 15 times.
  • Boys and young men play a football computer game at an arcade in Algiers. The small, damp room is plastered with football stars and other idols. The oldest of the group displays his cuts, which he inflicts on himself to feel that he lives. Like many other young people in Algeria, he describes his hopeless situation as: We are alive, but dead!
  • The unemployed 20 year old Amine Tighri smokes a cigarette while watching the planes land in the International airport nearby. He has plans to flee Algeria as soon as he has saved up enough money for a spot in one of the many small fishing boats that daily tries to reach the Spanish coast.
  • Saturday afternoon at the Port of the Algiers suburb of Rais Hamidou. Most young men in Algeria have lost their religion, but this group of young men hold on to Islam and pray every day that God has not forgotten about them.
  • Two boys sit on a step near the habour. Young men hides everywhere in the shadowy parts of downtown Algiers, where they drink alcohol, smoke hash and sniff glue.
  • Families of victims of enforced disappearance in Algeria hold peaceful protests once a week in Algiers. They have been demanding for years that the authorities reveal the fate and whereabouts of their relatives, who vanished after being taken away by security forces during the violent 1990s civil war. During the conflict, thousands of individuals disappeared at the hands of the Algerian security forces. No proper investigations have been carried out by the Algerian authorities into these disappearances and the perpetrators are yet to be brought to justice.
  • A young man smokes on a street in Algiers. He been in and out of jail for ten years and never had a real job. He watches out for parked cars in central Algiers earning a small amount of cash while drinking and smoking hash.
  • A large group of friends play a sort of chess on a cardboard box in the port of Algiers. They hang out every night, seven days a week. None of them has a job.
  • During a heavy down pour a group of young men are gathering on a square in Algiers. Algeria is suffering an unemployment crisis, with more than 50 percent of 18 to 30 year olds out of work. Educated young people are becoming increasingly disillusioned, frustrated and resentful about the state of their nation.
  • A group of youngsters pass time by playing football on a dirt track behind the port of Algiers. During breaks they sit in the twilight and dream of a life in the West. First stop would be to get aboard one of the many cargo ships at anchor in the Bay of Algiers.
  • For the 20 year old Amine Tighri to feel that he is still alive and to remind himself of his biggest dream, to flee from Algeria, he has tattooed himself with needle and mascara: I want to live - but where and with whom?
  • A group of friends meet every evening in a park near the port of Algiers. They spend their evenings smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and talk about football. “What else would we do?” The 20-25 year-olds are all unemployed and live with their parents where they are not particularly welcome: “This is our family.”
  • Unemployed Ahmed Belhadj and his pregnant wife Farisha have nowhere to live, so they live on the roof of his mother’s building in central Algiers. They are so ashamed of their desperate situation, that only after sunset, they crawl onto the roof and wait until darkness has descended over the city before they roll out their blankets.
  • 31 year old Norrdine Khelfaoui is unemployed and dreams of leaving Algeria every day. He has completely lost faith in the future and has attempted suicide several times. He lives with his parents and nine siblings. Therefore he lives pretty much his whole life on the streets, especially at night because there is more room to sleep in the tiny apartment during the day when the rest of the family is not there.
  • A typical residential block in a suburb of Algiers. French colonials built the affordable housing complex in a hurry, at the time of Algerian independence in 1962. All apartments have their own satellite dish, to be able to follow the news outside of Algeria, and to watch the hugely popular European football matches.
  • 24 year old Abdel Harachi is unemployed and a heavy drug addict who earns a little money to keep an eye on cars in a street in the centre of Algiers. Unauthorized traffic wardens are a widespread phenomenon in the Arab world, and at night you see these young men living on the streets to receive a few coins in gratitude when the owner of a car picks it up in the morning. He has been in and out of prison numerous times, and tried to get aboard a ship 15 times.
  • Boys and young men play a football computer game at an arcade in Algiers. The small, damp room is plastered with football stars and other idols. The oldest of the group displays his cuts, which he inflicts on himself to feel that he lives. Like many other young people in Algeria, he describes his hopeless situation as: We are alive, but dead!
  • The unemployed 20 year old Amine Tighri smokes a cigarette while watching the planes land in the International airport nearby. He has plans to flee Algeria as soon as he has saved up enough money for a spot in one of the many small fishing boats that daily tries to reach the Spanish coast.
  • Saturday afternoon at the Port of the Algiers suburb of Rais Hamidou. Most young men in Algeria have lost their religion, but this group of young men hold on to Islam and pray every day that God has not forgotten about them.
  • Two boys sit on a step near the habour. Young men hides everywhere in the shadowy parts of downtown Algiers, where they drink alcohol, smoke hash and sniff glue.
  • Families of victims of enforced disappearance in Algeria hold peaceful protests once a week in Algiers. They have been demanding for years that the authorities reveal the fate and whereabouts of their relatives, who vanished after being taken away by security forces during the violent 1990s civil war. During the conflict, thousands of individuals disappeared at the hands of the Algerian security forces. No proper investigations have been carried out by the Algerian authorities into these disappearances and the perpetrators are yet to be brought to justice.
  • A young man smokes on a street in Algiers. He been in and out of jail for ten years and never had a real job. He watches out for parked cars in central Algiers earning a small amount of cash while drinking and smoking hash.
  • A large group of friends play a sort of chess on a cardboard box in the port of Algiers. They hang out every night, seven days a week. None of them has a job.
  • During a heavy down pour a group of young men are gathering on a square in Algiers. Algeria is suffering an unemployment crisis, with more than 50 percent of 18 to 30 year olds out of work. Educated young people are becoming increasingly disillusioned, frustrated and resentful about the state of their nation.
  • A group of youngsters pass time by playing football on a dirt track behind the port of Algiers. During breaks they sit in the twilight and dream of a life in the West. First stop would be to get aboard one of the many cargo ships at anchor in the Bay of Algiers.

Maghreb Malaise

2010

Algeria is facing many of the same problems that sparked the Arab Spring. Plagued by 50% unemployment among 18 to 30 year olds and the traumatic legacy of a decade-long civil war in the 1990s, it has seen a wave of protests and self-immolations inspired by events in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. The grievances of these protesters are much the same – lack of opportunity, corruption, autocratic government, lack of freedom of speech and poverty. The youth are desperate. An entire generation dream of escaping Algeria.