I’m an Algerian-English artist who uses embodiment, interviews and archival research to share untold stories that create waymarkers for the diasporic journey of homecoming. This encompasses both the tangible and intangible memories held in species, landscapes and people. I ritualise and remember our collective past, building upon it to imagine alternative futures.
Storytelling is an act of subversion for me - so many people’s history is told by someone else in a position to do so or has been actively erased. For Algerians, ‘data’ that was used to control and organise us is contained within private French colonial archives. These may include my Arabic surname - forcibly changed during the 1800s. I think about how to disrupt this through archiving, being in dialogue with the past, present and future whilst documenting my process at the same time. I'm currently designing an interactive digital archive that centres remembrance, joy and playfulness.
Coming from a long line of great storytellers - and with the support of DYCP funding - this deep interest compelled me towards Morocco where I've been living for the last year, embodying and learning the stories and languages of my ancestors. Oral traditions have kept mine and many people's histories alive - 50 years ago, many Algerians were unable to read and write - a consequence of being blocked from accessing education by the French. My work centres and celebrates this voice of resistance and seeks to uncover its magic.
I've recently relocated to Bristol and am excited about bringing these roots to a different context and the seeds that will be planted at Pervasive Media Studio.