Tag Archives | Algeria

Art exhibition in London: Algerianism (part 1)

ALGERIANISM (PART 1) Collective Exhibition The word ‘Algerianism’ initially described a literary movement constituted in the early twentieth century by a group of French and Algerian intellectuals, who aimed to build a cultural ideology to reunite both settler and native communities. After the independence, the notion of Algerianism was taken by Algerian thinkers into a more nationalist and patriotic reference, looking to reconstruct a ‘new’ Algerian persona and identification. 1 2  3 ‘Algerianism (part 1)’ is a project collaboration co-curated by Algerian event manager, Toufik Douib, and French artist born in Algeria, Patrick Altes, that brings a reflective on Algeria’s emergent art scene on what the concept of Algerianism would mean 50 years after the country’s independence. The perspective arising from the works presented is that there are multiple and eclectic facets of Algeria, being a singular country in the Maghreb, African, Arab and Francophone worlds. In fact, each artist shares an engaging vision and powerful message of cultural identity exploring topics such as the current geopolitical crisis or the place of women in the Algerian contemporary landscape. Artists exhibiting: 4  5  6 Patrick Altes (visual artist) ‘Mizo’ Hamza Ait Mekideche (visual artist) Souad Douibi (performance artist) Kaci Ould Aissa […]

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Film review: Madame Courage by Merzak Allouache

The latest film by Algerian director, Merzak Allouache, Madame Courage, shown recently at the BFI London Film Festival, is not only a visually striking, well-made production but a stark portrayal of the current state of Algerian society and the hopelessness of the situation of many young people in particular. The main character, Omar, feeds his drug habit by petty thievery; it is the ‘Madame Courage’ of the title which is the nickname for the pills that he relies on to face the world. Living in squalor in a shanty town on the outskirts of Mostaganem with his mother and sister, Omar faces the world with a silent defiance, which is only broken when he talks of his father, an oil worker who has died in Hassi Messaoud, and accuses his mother of pimping out his sister for prostitution. Indeed, apart from his mother’s brutal verbal outbursts and the constant playing of a religious radio station to which she is a devotee, silence permeates the whole film, in which there is singularly little dialogue. It is as though social relations have almost completely broken down, along with the social fabric. Thus the screen is taken up with images of Omar moving […]

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