Silence speaks volumes as Algerian artists explore cultural heritage

Silence speaks volumes as Algerian artists explore cultural heritage
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For Florian Gaité, Algeria is a country scared by troubles from one generation to another. (Supplied)
Silence speaks volumes as Algerian artists explore cultural heritage
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The project was set up before the Hirak took shape, in February 2019, the artist explained. (Supplied)
Silence speaks volumes as Algerian artists explore cultural heritage
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Works of Mounir Gouri on the Harragas. (Supplied)
Silence speaks volumes as Algerian artists explore cultural heritage
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In the premises of the Maison des arts de Malakoff, there are also works by Mounir Gouri. This artist from Annaba won the Friends of the IMA (Arab World Institute) Prize. (Supplied)
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Updated 16 October 2021

Silence speaks volumes as Algerian artists explore cultural heritage

Silence speaks volumes as Algerian artists explore cultural heritage
  • Paris exhibition ranges from poignant paintings of migrants to works based on urban archaeology
  • ‘Algeria is a country that is as familiar as it is unknown,’ says curator

PARIS: “Somewhere between silence and words” revives memories of a journey to Algeria made by Florian Gaite, philosopher, art critic and curator of the exhibition taking place until Nov. 28, 2021 at the Maison des Arts Malakoff center in Paris.

The exhibition “seeks to make heard the voices and the silence that characterize Algeria so well,” Gaite told Arab News in France

“It’s a listening ear beyond the Mediterranean. Algeria is a country that is as familiar as it is unknown, and whose complexity — social, political and historical — is equivalent to the cultural diversity expressed there.”

Gaite said that he set up the project before the Hirak movement and widespread protests in Algeria in early 2019.

“That upset my vision of the Algerian scene, a country that I did not know, and about which I had prejudices and preconceived ideas from an exclusively Western reading,” he added.

 

 

“When I arrived in Algeria, I realized that the sensitive and sensory experience felt there was made of two extremes. On the one hand, it is an extremely talkative country, where multiple languages are spoken, a sort of linguistic tinkering. The same language is not spoken from one city to the next or between generations.

“The older generation speaks Amazigh, their children speak French and Arabic, and the younger generation is more oriented toward Arabic and English. This stratification of languages ​​seemed crazy to me because in Algeria, there is also a lot of silence. It is a country where people whisper, where there is modesty,” he said.

Gaite said that Algeria is a country “marked by many traumas and by a form of detention” because the same wounds are not discussed between generations.

“There are two pitfalls that I wanted to avoid: The first is placing myself as a Western critic coming to evoke the Algerian artistic scene, which I am not specialized in. The second consisted in choosing artists as simple mediators to bear witness to the Algerian artistic scene. In fact, they know their country better than I do and their testimonies are more accurate and more authentic.”

According to the exhibition’s organizer, colonization, Islamism and state authoritarianism are some of the multiple traumas of contemporary Algerian history.

“These are a series of causes, prohibitions, denials, repressions that hinder speech and often prevent it from being transcribed in the form of a story. The presence of the testimonial and documentary function in contemporary Algerian art thus answers this need to bear witness to the past as well as to the present — colonization, the war of liberation, socialism, black decade, the Bouteflika era, Hirak — and to propose rewritings, to exhume what has been erased or falsified, to give a voice to all that is forgotten,” he said.

“Somewhere between silence and words” brings together artists who were born, live or work in Algeria, including Louisa Babari, Adel Bentounsi, Walid Bouchouchi, Fatima Chafaa, Dalila Dalleas Bouzar, Mounir Gouri, Fatima Idiri, Sabrina Idiri Chemloul, Amina Menia and Sadek Rahim.

These Algerian or Franco-Algerian artists were selected by Gaite, who said that some are still poorly represented in French galleries.

“This exhibition, which includes more women than men, displays works made with various materials such as paper, charcoal or even fabric.”

While in Oran, birthplace of Gaite’s grandmother, the curator met Sabrina Idiri Chemloul, a Franco-Algerian director, who introduced him to her mother, Fatima Idiri.

Born in the Aures, in northeastern Algeria, Idiri lived in Nancy in a family that was part of the resistance networks of the National Liberation Front.

Returning to the country after its independence, she is a self-taught artist — from fashion design to painting on silk, mosaic to Berber embroidery — who is strongly influenced by impressionism and orientalism.

“Hirak’s fervor was a game-changer,” she said.

By choosing figurative drawing as an artistic identity, she strives to preserve the memory of one of the traditions of her native region, the Aures, said Gaite.

“By creating her masterpieces out of coffee grounds and acrylic, the artist pays tribute to free and liberated poets and singers who are the Azriat.”

Idiri studied colonial photography and sought to deconstruct the images in order to rediscover the spontaneity of avant-garde artists who were frowned upon, and even marginalized, during the colonial period.

The exhibition also includes works by Mounir Gouri, winner of the Friends of the IMA (Arab World Institute) Prize.

Based in France, Gouri produces moving paintings of “harraga,” or illegal immigrants, transforming their journey into a performance.

Gaite highlights a painting of a starry sky, painted with charcoal. “The message that the artist wishes to convey is that when the harraga are in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea in the dark night, the stars are their only source of light.”

Works by visual artist Amina Menia, who lives and works in Algeria, are also on display. Her art takes the form of an urban archaeology, focusing on places and architectural language.

Menia’s works have been shown in numerous museums, art centers and galleries, including the Pompidou Center in Paris, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Museum of African Design in Johannesburg, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Marseille and the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin.

Works by Sadek Rahim, a multidisciplinary artist who has lived in Syria and Jordan, and studied at the Beirut School of Fine Arts, are also being shown.

“Somewhere between silence and words” runs until Nov. 28, 2021 at the Maison des arts of Malakoff, in the Hauts-de-Seine, in Paris.

This story was originally published in French on Arab News en Français

 


French actor Gaspard Ulliel, 37, dies after ski accident

French actor Gaspard Ulliel, 37, dies after ski accident
Updated 20 January 2022

French actor Gaspard Ulliel, 37, dies after ski accident

French actor Gaspard Ulliel, 37, dies after ski accident
  • While skiing Tuesday afternoon at La Rosière resort, Ulliel collided with another skier on an intermediate slope after turning left
  • Ulliel was “motionless and unconscious when rescuers arrived,” while the other skier was unharmed

LYON, France: French actor Gaspard Ulliel, known for appearing in Chanel perfume ads as well as film and television roles, died Wednesday after a skiing accident in the Alps, local authorities said. He was 37.
Ulliel portrayed the young Hannibal Lecter in 2007's “Hannibal Rising” and fashion mogul Yves Saint Laurent in the 2014 biopic “Saint Laurent.” He is also in the upcoming Marvel series “Moon Knight,” and was the advertising face of the Chanel men’s fragrance Bleu de Chanel.
While skiing Tuesday afternoon at La Rosière resort, Ulliel collided with another skier on an intermediate slope after turning left, presumably to join his friends on an adjoining slope, Anne Gaches, the Savoie prosecutor in Albertville, said in a statement Wednesday.
Preliminary findings from an investigation indicated that "both skiers fell to the ground after the collision," the prosecutor said. Ulliel was “motionless and unconscious when rescuers arrived,” while the other skier was unharmed, Gaches said.
The prosecutor’s statement did not mention whether either skier was wearing a helmet.
Ulliel was transported by helicopter to Grenoble University Hospital, where doctors tried to revive him, she said. The actor was pronounced dead Wednesday shortly after 4 p.m., Gaches said.
The office of the actor's agent confirmed that Ulliel died on Wednesday.
Ulliel started in television while still in middle school and went on to win two of France's top cinema awards, the Cesar.
Tributes poured in from both shocked fans and the corridors of power. French Prime Minister Jean Castex tweeted an homage that said, “Gaspard Ulliel grew up with cinema and cinema grew up with him. They loved each other madly."
French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin said she was deeply saddened by Ulliel's death, describing the actor as “a child prodigy of cinema, who embodied perfectly the French style all over the world.”
The House of Chanel said in a statement it has lost its “ambassador of 12 years and a friend.”
“We have been fortunate to have had by our side all these years a person endowed with great culture, an immense talent, and of unparalleled kindness. He will be sorely missed,” Chanel said.
The accident conjured up memories of when Formula One great Michael Schumacher was seriously injured in a 2013 skiing accident in the French ski resort of Meribel, 50 kilometers (30 miles) from where Ulliel was skiing. Both were treated at Grenoble University Hospital.
Schumacher suffered serious head injuries when he fell and hit the right side of his head on a rock off the side of a demarcated slope. The German auto racing legend was skiing with his teenage son while on a family vacation in the Alps.
Schumacher, 53, has not been seen in public in eight years, and his family has revealed few details of his condition since the accident. His wife, Corinna, said in a Netflix documentary last year that her husband is “different, but he is here” and that the family, including the couple's son, Mick, now a Formula One driver himself, cares for him.
After Ulliel's accident, the mountain police service for the Rosiere ski area said its personnel have been carrying out five or six rescues per day as the snow hardened in recent days.
In the neighboring Haute-Savoie region, a 5-year-old girl was killed Saturday when a skier crashed into her. The man was handed preliminary manslaughter charges, according to the Haute-Savoie prosecutor, who cited excessive speed as the likely reason for the accident.


Asti Symphony Orchestra heads to AlUla to perform with Andrea Bocelli

Asti Symphony Orchestra heads to AlUla to perform with Andrea Bocelli
Updated 19 January 2022

Asti Symphony Orchestra heads to AlUla to perform with Andrea Bocelli

Asti Symphony Orchestra heads to AlUla to perform with Andrea Bocelli
  • Orchestra president: ‘Playing in AlUla is an honor for us. It will be an unforgettable experience’
  • It is the world-renowned tenor’s fourth performance at the UNESCO World Heritage Site

ROME: The musicians of the Asti Symphony Orchestra have said they are honored to be playing at the Maraya Concert Hall in AlUla on Friday with Andrea Bocelli, the world’s most popular living tenor.

The concert, which has long been sold out, will be Bocelli’s fourth performance in AlUla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It will be streamed on the tenor’s YouTube channel.

The 130 musicians who will play with Bocelli in AlUla flew out on Wednesday from the Italian city of Turin.

“We have often been called to accompany Maestro Bocelli,” Enrico Bellati, president of the Asti Symphony Orchestra, told Italian daily La Stampa. “Playing in AlUla is an honor for us. It will be another unforgettable experience.”

The concert will be an evening of opera and pop, and will include Bocelli’s greatest hits such as the famous aria “Nessun Dorma.”

Founded in 2014, the orchestra is based in Meta, a small town in the Italian region of Piedmont.


British entrepreneur Dr. Tara Lalvani reveals how her game-changing beauty tool came to be

British entrepreneur Dr. Tara Lalvani reveals how her game-changing beauty tool came to be
Updated 19 January 2022

British entrepreneur Dr. Tara Lalvani reveals how her game-changing beauty tool came to be

British entrepreneur Dr. Tara Lalvani reveals how her game-changing beauty tool came to be

DUBAI: If you can’t find it, make it! So goes the philosophy behind many brands, including Beautifect. The new beauty line based in London is known for its revolutionary Beautifect box, a tech-enabled device for applying, storing and carrying makeup.

The idea behind the Beautifect box came to British founder Dr. Tara Lalvani four and a half years ago while on the plane. “I was on my way to Dubai, and I just got the kids to finally sleep. I was thinking about the day ahead, about the hotel, about how poor the lighting was going to be and how I would get ready while managing my kids, and that’s when the idea of Beautifect occurred to me,” she told Arab News.

The Beautifect Box is a chargable beauty device for applying, carrying and storing makeup. 

A dental surgeon, Dr. Lalvani had no plans to launch her own business. In fact, before she had the idea to create the Beautifect box, she had her mind set on purchasing a product that could serve as a portable dressing table when she realized such a thing didn’t exist. “How could something so obvious not be already out there?” she proclaimed.

“Before I even landed, I decided that if it was out there, I was going to buy it. If it wasn’t, then I was going to create it because it would help every woman in the same position. I couldn’t believe that in this day and age, we were still struggling to get the right lighting and still being tied down to one place. And that’s really when the whole idea was born,” she explained.

What makes the product so special is the lighting, which took Dr. Lalvani over two years to perfect. The Beautifect box features five different lighting options that simulate different lighting environments so women can do their makeup more accurately. “Lighting completely changes the look of your makeup. There is no better lighting for makeup on the market than the Beautifect light,” shared the entrepreneur.

The portable device bills itself as the beauty equivalent to a laptop. 

The beauty equivalent of a laptop, the added benefit of the chargeable Beautifect box is that it allows women to do their makeup anywhere, whether they are in the back of an Uber on their way to a meeting or lounging on the sofa before dinner plans. A single charge lasts up to a month, and in an age when women are busier than ever, juggling careers and motherhood, the Beautifect box is quite revolutionary.

“We have such busy lives now. How can we still be doing our makeup the same way we’ve been doing it for generations? With Beautifect, you can do it on your schedule. You no longer have to sit at a dressing table in a separate room for something that you do every day,” shared Dr. Lalvani.

After launching Beautifect, the entrepreneur realized that dentistry was never really her passion. “All my life, I’ve always been a massive beauty lover, but after training for six years to be a dentist and practicing for over a decade in London, I didn’t imagine I would do anything else,” she recalled. Her profession as a dentist, however, did heavily inform the creative process of her brand. “After I launched, a friend of mine pointed out that the way I designed the storage in the Beautifect box reminded them of a dental tray,” she mused.

The chargeable Beautifect box is that it allows women to do their makeup anywhere.

Despite launching in the middle of a global pandemic, Beautifect was an instant hit when it landed on shelves at Harrods and online on Ounass and Dr. Lalvani’s own website. The entrepreneur attributes some of the success to the rise of social media platforms like TikTok during the pandemic. “We live in a time in which makeup isn’t necessarily just for going out. I designed the product around the social media age. We need to be able to film content, take selfies,” explained Dr. Lalvani.

Today, the Beautifect line boasts a beauty blender, Mulberry silk eye mask, crystal nail file, vanity bag and tote.

With an oversaturation of eyeshadow palettes, foundations and lipsticks on the market, Dr. Lalvani reveals she wants to focus her brand on beauty tools and devices. “Cosmetic brands are focused on makeup and when it comes to tools, they’re almost an afterthought,” she shared. “Our focus is on creating the best tools in their categories.”

You can shop the products on Beautifect.com. 


The top interior design trends of 2022 revealed

The top interior design trends of 2022 revealed
Updated 19 January 2022

The top interior design trends of 2022 revealed

The top interior design trends of 2022 revealed

DUBAI: A fresh year could prompt you to hit the refresh button on your living space. To give your interiors a facelift that mirrors your personal style, Saudi Arabia-based interiors brand Aura Living has shared the top design trends for 2022.

Comfortable rooms, flexible spaces

As we spend more time at home, we are moving away from rigid structures and formal living spaces and seeing a more open approach toward spaces that are welcoming and adaptive. Lounge areas and family rooms have become an individual’s main priority. But that doesn’t mean what is functional can’t be aesthetically chic — the key is to create the perfect balance between elegance and practicality. Take the Morzine sofa from Aura’s Fall 2021 line for instance. With practicality in mind, this modular sofa is designed to offer flexibility to design layouts, making a space equal parts comfy and elegant.

Morzine Sectional Sofa. Supplied

Vibrant hues

Paint trends will fall into two distinct camps this year: Earthy, organic shades and vibrant, energizing hues, which were popular in the 1950s. However, that does not necessarily mean that you need to invade your house with painterly pops. Rather, add vibrant shades of color where you feel suitable. Start with a neutral color palette as this will help you incorporate color easily and switch it up from time to time.

Supplied

Curves

Sculptural furnishing and feminine shapes are rapidly finding their way into sanctuaries this season. From curved sofas, to dining chairs, beds and cabinets, the options are endless. Arches, angled edges and wavy design accessories are all present within Aura’s Fall 2021 collection. You can opt for side chairs or single-seated sofas such as Aura’s Lezoux chair in soft pink, or the Joy chair in cobalt blue.

Supplied

Texture

Even the most basic neutral palettes can feel layered and exceptional when lots of different textures are incorporated. In the coming year, mastering that mix is going to be paramount. The easiest way to add texture into your decor is through fabrics and textiles. Start with smaller items, such as cushions, rugs and throws, that can be easily moved around or replaced should you want a quick interior update in the future. 

 


US actor Mahershala Ali nominated for NAACP Image Award

US actor Mahershala Ali nominated for NAACP Image Award
Updated 19 January 2022

US actor Mahershala Ali nominated for NAACP Image Award

US actor Mahershala Ali nominated for NAACP Image Award

 

DUBAI: US actor Mahershala Ali, who is Muslim, has been nominated in the best actor category at this month’s NAACP Image Awards, organizers announced this week.

The Oscar and Emmy winner will compete against LaKeith Stanfield, Denzel Washington, Jonathon Majors and Will Smith.

Meanwhile, Netflix emerged with a leading 52 nominations, including for the film “The Harder They Fall.” The movie — featuring a star-studded cast including Regina King, Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba and Stanfield — pulled in 12 nominations, including for best picture. 

Issa Rae’s “Insecure” earned 13 nominations, including best comedy television series. 

The nominees for best actress in a film are Andra Day, Halle Berry, Jennifer Hudson, Tessa Thompson and Zendaya.

The two-hour awards show, hosted by Anthony Anderson, will be broadcast on Feb. 26.