Federico SUTERA

Wedding in exile
Location: Venice, Italy
Nationality: Italian
Biography: Federico Sutera is a free-lance photographer based in Venice His work is focused on personal documentary projects as well as commercial ones (events, weddings, corporate). After having collaborated with Anzenberger and Contrasto he is now... read on
Public Story
Wedding in exile
Copyright federico sutera 2021
Date of Work 02/02/10 - 02/05/10
Updated 10/12/19
Location Tindouf
In 2010, I received a phone call from Abdelai (1984 ), one of the saharawi I met during my first experience in the Algerian desert. He wanted to marry Bakina (1986) on February 4th 2011 and I was invited to their wedding. There was no missing a traditional muslim wedding - a once in a lifetime occasion.
In respect with muslim tradition, I was not allowed, as a man, to stay with Bakina and her friends until the second day. Therefore I have essentially experienced and photographed Abdelai’s ceremony.
On the first day, the groom celebrated with his friends but, as tradition, he was not allowed to speak to them. 
During the second day, they celebrated the official ceremony of the wedding. Abdelai discovered Bakina’s face, previously hidden under a white veil, and took her hand.
On the third day, all the guests ate a lunch made of camel meat. Then, traditional music and dances accompanied the last moments of the celebration.
Even if the ceremony was great, the overall feeling of happiness was punctuated by brief moments of silence. They seemed to be due to the monotony of everyday life in one of the most inhospitable landscape on Earth.

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