A Gentle Breeze Passed Over Us

A Gentle Breeze Passed Over Us, HD, 6′, colour, sound, 2017


image from the ‘A Gentle Breeze Passed Over Us’ solo exhibition, Kunst Haus Wien Hundertwasser Museum, 2017

What Braudel once wrote about the Mediterranean could be said today about the whole globe: the experience of migration is an intrinsic part of our way of life. If history and culture of the region around the Mediterranean could not be explained only through the life of those born there but includes also those who sailed to its shores, their descendants and even those who throughout the history conquered it, then the migrants of all sorts the rightful founders of all the particular cultures around the globe. A Gentle Breeze Passed Over Usasks a deeply rooted question: In our era of rapid social and technical transformation, in which our social order is no longer matched to our technological order, as Walter Benjamin predicted a century ago, what is home and what is homeland? Is it possible to tell stories of our world today without the experience of displacement and the terror and desperation that accompany it? Could the oud that softly slides across the waters of the Aegean Sea become the symbol of a deep culture that is now dispersed all over the world, seeking a place for itself?

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Image from the Gwangju Biennial, 2018


Image from Say Shibboleth Exhibition, Jewish Museum Munich, 2019


Image from the ‘Exclusively Inclusive’ exhibition, Gerdarsfan Kópavogor Museum, Iceland, 2018

‘A gentle breeze passed over us / Nassam Aleyna Al Hawa’ takes its name from the Lebanese singer Fairuz’s song, often performed in the streets of Istanbul by Middle Eastern musicians; the song symbolizes the homesickness experienced by refugees.

                           The air breezed upon us
                           From the split of the valley
                           Oh breeze, for love’s sake
                           Take me home
                           Oh love, oh love
                           That is flying in the breeze
                           There’s a mantoura (type of flower) with energy
                           and image
                           Take me to them, breeze


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Image from the book of Say Shibboleth exhibition at Jewish Museum of Hohenems and Munich, 2018-9.