Choukri Mesli (8 Nov. 1941, Tlemcen – 2017, Paris) started his artistic path as a student under Mohammed Racim at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Alger 1948-51. In 1954, he continued at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris and became the first Algerian with a Higher Diploma in Fine Arts (1960). From 1960-62 Mesli taught drawing in Rabat before returning to Alger as Professor of Painting. In 1967, Mesli and Denis Martinez founded the artist group Aouchem, inspired by indigenous tattoos and motives. In 1969, Mesli was responsible for the art exhibitions at the Panafrican Festival of Alger. Mesli was also the co-founder of the magazine Soleil (1950), of Group 51 with poet Kateb Yacine and painter M’hamed Issiakhem, a founding member of the artist union (UNAP) and of the collective of artists, intellectuals and scientists against torture (RAIS). In 1994, he sought exile in Paris.