mounir fatmi - History is not mine
Exhibition and cinema
you are history
Proposal for an art project
by Amit hai Cohen
estimated date november 2023
Place: Morocco and anywhere else
In the events of World War II, I can't see anything except my grandmother Atitqa fleeing from Djerba to the Libyan border, where a Muslim family hid her and her family from the German. World War II which represents for so many a period of destruction and hate, echoes for me with the transformative strength of friendship and solidarity.
The more I look at History, the more I encounter these multiplicities and conflicts. History is ours. We look at it, hold it, tell it, it goes with us and dissolves within us. The DNA of History is located within ourselves and creates endless dialogues with places, objects, manuscripts and people.
Beyond that, we can also say that we are History. History is constantly passing through us and we are constantly passing through History. We assimilate into it, integrate it in our personal lives, and dialogue with it. These frictions produce new narratives, aesthetics and layers which overlap or erase preexisting events.
This project is a continuation of the flag exhibit of the 2019 Jerusalem Biennale 'Ziara' which explored common symbols, traditions and beliefs through the prism of History.
In 'YOU ARE HISTORY' artists from different backgrounds, countries and disciplines are invited to interact with a specific part of History that dialogues or clashes with their identity and where they are from. Each participating artist will be paired with a specific historical event and a trace from this event and will be asked to create a response to this encounter.
The theme given to the artist is meant to raise questions, wake up old conflicts, confront duality, offer an opportunity to reflect about the overlaps between History with a big 'H', the one we learn about -or don't learn about- at school and our own heritage. By intentionally avoiding the separation between 'life' and 'art', we welcome the complexities and conflicts within one's identity and creative work.
As a result of the project, we would like to focus on two different moments:
The journey of the meeting between the artist and the chapter of History they are invited to interact wit
The end result of this dialogue.
The first part will be filmed and documented and will result in short documentary videos. We are aiming at something intimate intertwining personal history, creative process and current socio-political questions .This will allow us to reach a wider audience through social Media.
The result of this creative process will be shared with our audiences online and in person in an Art event curated around the project.
Potential Participating artists :
Robby elmalih Cinema / CEE ELASSAD DJ / Chama Mechtaly photography / Hicham Benohoud photography / Shlomi Elkabetz Cinema / Aniam leah Dery Sculpture / AHLAM MAROON video creator / fatima zohra serri photography / Khalid benghrib Choreographer
Potential partners: Moroccan National Archives
We are particularly interested in Moroccan history and its uniqueness. Morocco is a place that experienced colonialism and still deals with the consequences and traces of the French presence in the country. And yet, instead of closing itself to difference, Morocco keeps trying to find new ways to bridge between its different histories, cultures and minorities.
This project sees Moroccan History as a starting point that allows us to ask many complex questions and invite artists from other parts of the world to bring in their history and reflect on power dynamics, inter-religious relations and social questions that arise within the Moroccan traditional society.
“History is written by victors” is a famous quote highlighting the influence of power structures and storytelling in the writing of History. The premise of this project is that there is no single history as the victors want us to think. Each of us owns a unique and complex chapter of history influenced both by personal and collective memory.