Curated by Aicha Josefa Trinidad Gououi
The feeling of abandonment of a generation, the colonialist issues that have determined our political situations, moral prohibitions, shame and the difficulty to develop a personal identity true to ourselves, are the themes that this group of artists represents. The selected artworks serve as references for new creators with the ambition to create spaces outside of heteronormativity, trying to make visible identity problems due to belonging to a racialised minority. The artists of this section inhabit an in-between space that offers them the possibility of creating from their own experience. They / we are also creating a decolonial history that serves as a resurrection and reconstruction of our own identity, hand in hand with our own tradition and rebuilding our past to move forward. We can see the queer theory represented in all the videos that we propose, treated from a political perspective. The poetic composition of the images, the scenes represented in each of them and the sincerity of the artist creating the pieces makes the possibility of speaking from the personal and that can be extrapolated to society with overwhelming sensitivity.
Soraya Sabrina Abdellaoui, Ι was a scorpio, now I’m the Snake (2018)
This is a new release of my first poetry-video “I was a scorpio, now I’m the Snake” with English subtitles. Especially made for TQAF 2021. It was initially written/inspired from the “Fuck The Poesie” #3 (Paris, 2018), hosted by Tarek Lakhrissi with Mawena Yehouessi and Fallon Mayanja. I had the opportunity to share my voices in between all my languages. French, Portuguese, Darija and English. I do not speak well and it is constantly noticed (schools and people) and I did not have the opportunity to find my heart and assume mistakes. Because shame was a big hindrance. It was very liberational to create a space without it in my thoughts and swim in my stories. I’ve discovered what I have to tell. Surprisingly, it was easy to let myself go with the flow / inspirations. In parallel, when I was up to publish it, I decided to create a video. Spontaneously, I’ve picked all my saved Instagram’s stories [2016-2018] to illustrate this. As a SW, my IG was deleted several times. I’ve lost contacts, connectiions and a lot of souvenirs. I could find some and I made them alive again in this video for questioning also, where are our memories ? In this Internet world, this ocean in between constant deletions and publications, we can share so much but how to keep our souvenirs rooted ? In the name of Love, I’m celebrating all my parts, all my people, my intimacies and my vulnerabilities as a weapon. Let’s make our narrations alive, let’s share our i*stories / histories, let’s say our names.
Agape Harmani, Christos Anesti (2020)
The performance of Christos Anesti (Christ is risen) is referring to the ritual of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, during the Greek Orthodox Easter. The ritual is the highlight of the Holy Week. It is performed by priests in churches and adherents attend to witness the sacrament and celebrate. During the service, the priest chants the troparion to announce Christ’s resurrection. When the weather permits so, priests in the Greek province perform the ritual outdoors, moving their book-stand, the Bible, a large bowl with water and basil outside. Taken out of its geographical and cultural context but also its ecclesiastical setting, Christos Anesti performance took place in our flat’s backyard in London. It inevitably drew my flatmate’s attention who, as a Romanian, shares similar christian orthodox background. In 2020, we could only reincarnate the memories of rituals, food, and family, as restrictions didn’t allow travelling or gatherings. Removed from its strictly ritualistic frame, the performance explores and reflects upon how culture and memory fit into the concepts of migration, queerness and modern urban lifestyle. Deconstructing them, I tried to reclaim an aspect of my culture that defines me and is part of my identity.
Duke Aslani, Local Migrant (2020)
This video reflects on my experience growing-up as a first generation Swiss-Kosovar, in environments where I often experienced xenophobia and being unwanted within a system that treated me like a second-class citizen and forbade me from being equally educated to my ‘local’ peers. The video is shot in VHS, a medium that has followed me throughout my childhood. It starts with the narrative of an imaginary land that has been linked and labelled to me since birth, and continues with a reflection on my experience in different environments, objects, places and moments that play a big part in my personal memory.
Ehab Aziz, No signal – Peace as war (2020)
Peace as war is the peace implementation process in the world viewed, or interpreted reasonably, as a continuation of war by other means. Most of the topics are related to everyday life, such as identity, time, or repetition. The result of the action ranges between absurd and poetical images. No signal for the video images also for the human brain, because the world still uses lies, emotions and weapons to change reality. The video addresses a wide range of topics from childhood to identity and politics. By creating art through photos and sounds, to express the personal thoughts, experiences and address some social issues that occur in our daily lives. It is logical not to use logic. My vision is trying to challenge ‘reality’ and ‘truth’ to give another logic.