In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Algeria’s independence from France, “Moudjahidate* – women*, resistance, queer alliance” honours the commitment of women* fighters in the struggle for freedom and autonomy for their people and themselves. The exhibition creates a space for all women* who contributed to liberating land with their bodies, minds and power.
During French colonization, Frantz Fanon wrote in “Algeria Unveiled” (1965) how France sought to maintain its colonial hold through Algerian women*: “‘if we want to destroy the structure of Algerian society, its capacity for resistance, we must first of all conquer the women; we must go and find them behind the veil where they hide themselves and in the houses where the men keep them out of sight’.” The famous propaganda ‘Aren’t you pretty, reveal yourself’ boldy portrays patriarchal domination over Algerian Muslim women*.
Since the dawn of time, bodies of women* are a territory in its own right, seeking to decolonize, to break the walled silences surrounding it, to stand on the front of the stage. Their spirit seeks to inhabit a body that is self-determined, dresses according to its own rules – embodies women* at the origin of the world and honouring who they are.
On 1st November, marking the beginning of the Algerian War of Independence 68 years ago, “Moudjahidate* – women*, resistance, queer alliance” present works of three artists of Algerian descent whose works center the lived experiences of women* in (post-)war Algeria: Nadja Makhlouf, Sarah El Hamed and Maya Inès Touam.