" How is built the image of the Algerian elsewhere, and how the Algerians themselves tell about their country, their reality." On a balcony in algiers, which overlooks the panorama of the bay, the port and the city, where we would like to put a tripod and strafe the "cliché" of Algiers, Abdo Shanan prefers to take his morning coffee and talk about... photography. This photographer of 38 years, a member of the highly acclaimed Collective 220, is the co-curator of an exhibition-event in Switzerland, "Narratives from Algeria," which will take place from 4 July to 6 September at the Photoforum Pasquart in Biel, one of the main institutions in switzerland dedicated to contemporary photography.
Bled runner is going © CAMILLE MILLERAND
"An individual point of view strong"
"It was not easy to find a title bringing together such a diversity of proposals, but the concept of a narrative - difficult to translate satisfactorily into French and German, two other languages of communication - seemed to us to be satisfactory," says, of Switzerland, Danae, Panchaud, director of Photoforum Pasquart, and is co-curator of the exhibition. "Most, if not all, of the projects that we present, have an important narrative dimension, without falling into a narrative strictly linear. They express an individual point of view, which may bear as much on the intimacy of a lived experience and an individual identity, on policy issues relating more widely to the society ".
Escaping the heatwave, 2016. © Sahraoui Fethi
" It is a kind of narration of Algeria, which attempts to include all contexts, from colonization to the 1980s-1990s and beyond, in questioning precisely the construction of the image of the Algerian in the imaginary colonial, including establishing a dialogue between the photographs produced by the historical journal El Mujahid, algerian side, and those of Paris-Match who was at the forefront in the propaganda of the Algerian war to France. The purpose also is to explain how the Algerians were re-appropriated this look on themselves and their countries, and explore the obsession of the Other, who does not look at the reality, but what he has built in his head, "notes Abdo Shanan, winner of the 2019 price CAP (african photography (or contemporary) for her current project as" Dry ".
the image of The Other
" Our audience in Switzerland will very definitely in his majority only a limited knowledge of the history of Algeria, also ask a few milestones, we thought it essential to provide some contextualization of the projects which make up the main section of the exhibition. Rather than a timeline or a summary of the history of algeria in the introduction, we have chosen to problematize the middle of the photograph, in the middle of iconographies that have accompanied this history have contributed to it sometimes - and especially those who participated in the writing and the mémorialisation of this history, " says Danae, Panchaud.
Algeria contemporary © Youcef Krache
"Narratives from Algeria" brings together the works of over 30 international photographers to the close links with Algeria, of which a majority resides there currently. They do not have for the most part never exhibited in Switzerland. "The idea is to show the work of photographers living in Algeria, but also those located elsewhere, to talk about issues of identity, of relation to the country of origin, to the family... But also to show the work of foreigners who passed through Algeria, or have worked, as Tytus Grodzicki," says Abdo Shanan. Tytus Grodzicki, a Polish who has spent part of his childhood in Algeria, there is income in 2015, has produced a book of photographs of a rare beauty, Degulet Nour (2018), the name of the superior quality of dates algerian.p>
Diversity of backgrounds and affinities of the aesthetic
" We went everywhere to look works and photographers, archives and postcards, etc ., in link with Algeria, Turkey, Texas, says Shanan. We have also received about a hundred nominations for the exhibition, with a fair share of photographers who have worked on the hirak ". The popular movement in algeria that brought down the system Bouteflika in April 2019 has not released the word, he has also reconcile Algerians with the public space and has also been a great "moment" in photography. Never were seen in the streets of Algeria, many photographers, professional or amateur, to capture these historic events. "I think that one of the strengths of the scene in algeria at the present time is a strong identity and singular, that can only help to make themselves known outside the country's borders.
Algeria political objective, peaceful revolution, 2019 © Belkaid Samir
in Spite of the great diversity of the photographers exhibited here – the diversity of their life paths, their ages, their entries in the photography – it has affinities esthetics, visual strategies, a certain use of the photographic image, also, " says Danae, Panchaud, which ensures, with another curator, Miriam Edmunds, as early as July 4, the reception of the public. Abdo Shanan will remain in Algiers due to the closure of the borders and on the balcony which overlooks the amphitheatre of algiers saturated mermaid and the sun, he dreams to bring back the expo in Algeria. "Yes, why not, it would be so logical."Updated Date: 03 July 2020, 15:33