A Gentle Breeze Passed Over Us

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

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

While writing on the Mediterranean, Fernand Braudel emphasizes that the dynamics of those who form the culture of the region could not be explained only by those born on its shores. Those who immigrated to these shores by sailing, their children who were born later, and even those who conquered these shores were the founders of the Mediterranean way of life. And Braudel writes further that life has been transformed into a partnership through the “constant efforts of people yesterday and today”. “A Gentle Breeze Passed Over Us” researches a deeply rooted issue: In our era of rapid transformation of social and technical changes in which our social order is not matched with our technological order, as Walter Benjamin predicted a century ago, what is home and what is homeland? What is the type of space that we live in and would it be possible tell stories of this new world without submitting to the terror and desperation of being displaced? Could the oud that softly slides across the waters of the Aegean Sea become the cultural 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

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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 Say Shibboleth exhibition at Jewish Museum of Hohenems, 2018