Ramzy Bensaadi is one of the 25 projects/photographers shortlisted for the 2020 CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography.
Friday afternoons in Oran are usually for recreation for those who can afford it but since February 22, 2019, something was added to this routine: demonstrations calling for a political change in Algeria.
For a certain category of young people, it's race day. A race in which mopeds, that are not intended for competitive sports, are pushed to their limits on the highways. This practice, banned by the authorities for safety and security reasons, can reach speeds of 140km/hour and more. To get this number, moped racers ask friends who have cars to drive beside them and indicate their speed when they do tests on weekdays.
A race is a work in pairs: One prepares the bike so that it is efficient while another one drives it. The merit generally goes to the one who pushes the moped to the maximum.
The racers are in the majority of people with very modest or nonexistent income. They generally work without insurance. They are aware that they do not contribute to a pension despite the fact that they are not educated.
Some are quarantined and are fathers. When they are asked why they decided to have families and expose themselves to a bigger social pressure despite financial precariousness, they answer that it is their parents who insisted on it.
For them, the responsibility is a way to avoid delinquency or risky migration by small sea boats.
Mopeds can also be a means of income. A well-tuned motorcycle that has proven itself on the highways is valuable for resale, even if the secret of the success remains unattainable.