Art exhibition in London: 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 Sans titre1 2 Sans titre2 3 Sans titre3

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 Sans titre4 5 Sans titre5 6 Sans titre6

Patrick Altes (visual artist)

‘Mizo’ Hamza Ait Mekideche (visual artist)

Souad Douibi (performance artist)

Kaci Ould Aissa (photographer)

Ghania Zaazoua ‘Princess Zazou’ (artist designer)

Yasser Ameur (visual artist)


26 October – 08 November I Open every day I 9am to 9pm

Private view, talk and reception: Monday 26 October 6pm – 9pm


At the Tabernacle Gallery

34-35 Powis Square, London W11 2AY, UK

(Tube Station: Westbourne Park – Notting Hill Gate)


This is a Nour Festival event

Supported by Istikhb’Art


For more information:

Private View RSVP and curator contact:

Toufik Douib



Above are part illustrations of the artwork exhibited:

1- ‘Mare Nostrum’ (Patrick Altes)

2- ‘Once upon a time, El Hayek’ (‘Mizo’ Hamza Ait Mekideche)

3- ‘This is Me, This is My Story’ (Souad Douibi)

4- ‘Istikbal’ (Kaci Ould Aissa)

5- ‘Import Export’ (Ghania Zaazoua – Princess Zazou)

6- ‘The Yellow Man’ (Yasser Ameur)

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 through the streets – sometimes running, sometimes walking or riding his motorbike, in pursuit of his prey or being pursued himself. Yet, he is touched by the encounter with one of his victims, a teenage schoolgirl whose necklace he has stolen – so touched that he returns it and then begins to stalk her. She is the only beacon of hope in the film, as she engages with her school friends and her family with something approaching normality and compassion. For Omar, as for so many young people, his options soon run out. Debilitated by his addiction and beaten up, he has lost his strength and has nowhere left to go. Even the route across the Mediterranean, which he eyes up from the seawall, is not within his grasp. An extremely bleak film.

Margaret Majumdar

More about the film here