TIGHTROPE WALK The photo shoot for the work shown today in the museum of the Arab World Institute (Institute du Monde Arabe) in Paris occurred at the same time as the events known as the “Arab Spring” in 2011. During that time it was not possible to visit several countries (such as Syria) and others were considered very dangerous. Despite these risks, I could not resist to the experience visiting all those countries in the Arab world...
...Once on site I was struck by the gap between the information provided by the local media and the reality I was confronted with. I was in Cairo during the heavy fighting of May 5th, 2011, I was filming in the Maghreb at the time of Muammar Gaddafi's death, living in such historic moments in small villages rather than large cities, in unspectacular neighborhoods where the everyday life continued with the same fears, hopes, tensions and jobs as yesterday and tomorrow.
NEVER ENDING LANDSCAPE
DIVIDED EMPTINESS, KUWAIT
...The pictures consist of re-filmed architectural photographs shot in Syria: Palmyra, Malula, Bosra, and Damascus. This is a journey through the first civilizations, that is, in the strict sense of people living in cities. The film is dedicated to Tamer al-Awam, a Syrian filmmaker and activist I had the chance to meet in Berlin. He was killed in 2012 while he was working in Aleppo.
THREE RELIGIONS, A SYMPHONY
PREAMBLE OF THE ARAB WORLD INSTITUTE IN PARIS The preamble consists of several parts linked to each other: sounds of voices in different languages, videos of people walking and a never ending landscape: what looks like a journey that covers endless miles is a compilation of hundreds of photographs shot across the 22 countries of the Arab League. The installation introduces the museum to the visitor, it offers a snapshot and shows the diversity of the Arab world today.
THE ARAB WORLD WALKING
The act of photographing someone means to expose the relationship between the photographer and its subject. As a result, portrait of a person is somehow always a sort of self-portrait as well. A photographer captures the way another person looks at him or how they want to be represented, what they desire to show to the person behind the camera...
OMAN — Shakir Mubarak Al-Araimi
ÉGYPTE — Roland Manadily
TUNISIE — Meriem Bouziri
LIBAN — Salam Moussa Chammas
KOWEÏT — Jihan Abou Zein
QATAR — Amel Saadi Cherif
PRODUCTION — Equipe de l'Institut du monde arabe et l'Equipe du Fresnoy, studio national des arts contemporains
CONCEPTION — Yannis Koïkas
COORDINATION IMA — Aurélie Wong
COORDINATION FRESNOY — Stéphanie Robin
MIXAGE SON — Christian Cartier
SCÉNOGRAPHIE — Roberto Ostinelli
REMERCIEMENTS — Bruno Levallois, Alain Fleischer, Blandine Tourneux, Olivier Anselot, Jean René Lorand, Eric Delpont, Amiet Leya Scheidegger, Hannes Scheidegger, Monsieur Mellakh, Johann Demarigny, Feras Abdulrazzak