REINA & ABDELBAKI
Conversation between Paris and Oran
There is a deepening gap in an already difficult relationship between the French society, the State and its Muslim community as a result from the post-colonization immigration. New waves of terrorist attacks lead to more stigmatization and discrimination of the community. The french ideal of "equality" and fear of the difference suffocate the richness of diversity and multiple identities. The country faces the advance of right-wing ideas. Current tensions are the visible part of a post/des-colonial history that hasn’t yet been written.
In the shadow of global failure, Reina & Abdelbaki built unintentionaly a small space of resistance and resilience. Reina, is my spanish mother, born and raised in Oran, Algeria (1954-1962) settled in France after the French-Algerian war (which ended in 1962). Fifteen years ago, she virtually met Abdelbaki, an Algerian born after the war, settled in Reina’s childhood district in Oran, through an online forum about Oran and its history. Since then, they never stopped talking, weaving at a distance an individual and collective transnational history and memory about the war, the city they belong to in different ways and their personal emotions.
My project is a three-voice conversation which aims to explore war‘s memories, identity complexities and the existence of a possible transnational space in a post/des-colonial era. It will combine archives collected and produced by Reina and Abdelbaki, our virtual correspondences and my visual production (still and moving images, maps) inspired by their past and our shambling present.