Through interactive artistic installations, The Confused Arab tackles key thematics of the modern Arab identities : migration, inequalities, individuality and nostalgia.
Following ‘Hammam tomorrow’ installation in SIKKA 2017, The Confused Arab continues the conversation on the diversity of Arab identities through “Hawa city”.
‘Hawa city’ is a different look on airports as placeless and timeless spaces.
Indeed, airports are now central in our lives.
Departures or Arrivals,
Holidays or New life,
Visa or without visas,
Airports are the mirror of our challenges and hopes.
Welcome to “Hawa city”
A ’city’ suspended between here and there, yesterday and tomorrow and illustrating the “future of nostalgia”.
The installation is split in 2 rooms recreating the different steps of a traveller or migrant to be:
-The first room called “Suspended gate” (with a reference through the Arabic spelling to the old Arabic poems of “Muallaqat”) represents the suspended identities that a lot of people, and young Arabs are facing. Visitors are invited to pick a card on which you are attributed a nationality/passport showing the image that we don’t choose our origins. Each side of the room is covered with passport images, with a segmentation between passports easy to travel with and passports requiring visas to almost all the destinations in the world.
In the middle of the room, there’s a mix of Arab passports and passports of countries with substantial Arab diasporas.
This symbolizes the double identities a lot of us have, being suspended between 2 worlds.
Before entering the second room, visitors are asked to remove their shoes, to discover a prayer-room like space.
-The second room “the scanner” invites visitors to watch several elements symbolically seized from the Arab world. A big golden scanner adds solemnity to the dark room. All around, we found travel cases or airport scanner trays with different airport tags are stuck. On these tags, instead of destination we can read the main reasons why people are migrating over the world: work, security, experience, love, family…
If the scanner is a reference to the physical scan and loss of intimacy we are facing in this common process in airports, the mosque carpet is an invitation to a personal scan and to find or share any emotional baggage we might have.
In your trip to the future, what will you take with you?
'Hammam Tomorrow' is an installation recreating a beauty salon on a newly discovered planet in the future.
Hammams are central places of Arab cities, being both intimate and public spaces, fantasized by Orientalists and criticized by Extremists.
Through 'Hammam Tomorrow', The Confused Arab invites you to discuss the evolution of Arab identities with focus on the Arabic language, lifestyles, diaspora communities and how to think the future.
A collaborative experience with several artists: Amel Benaouadia, Walid Bouchouchi, Ali Chaaban and Meryem Meg.
Initially exhibited in Dubai during Sikka Art Fair 2017- 'Hammam Tomorrow' was part of 'North African Pop Art' in London P21 Gallery.