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A forum for the expression of the cultural identity of the peoples and ethnic groups of North Africa and West Asia in post-colonialism and a contribution to the emergence of nation states with a hybrid identity. Is the identity in a state of change or stability?

In conjunction with the artist and guest curator Ammar Hatem, Friedland Museum, with the support of the Migration Centre for the city and district of Göttingen and the registered Society for Peoples under Threat, is organising an exhibition entitled “Collective Future”.  It focuses on the theme of the cultural identity of the peoples and ethnicities of North Africa and West Asia in post-colonial times. 

In their artistic works, six artists tackle the question of whether the concept of identity is in a state of change or stability.  Their works draw attention to the problems of minorities who experience discrimination for reasons of gender, religion or ethnicity.  With its motto, “Variety and dialogue versus marginalisation”, the exhibition aims to stimulate discussion about participation in social discourse beyond assimilation and exclusion.

The emergence of national states in various regions of the world during the epochs of colonialism, modernisation and globalisation, brought about the formation of hybrid identities and a confluence of different languages, dialects and cultures.  This process of homogenisation frequently fails to recognise the countless cultures and ethnicities.  In the process, the multitude of languages, rituals and artistic positions are suppressed and subjected to the compulsion to integrate into the melting pot of the hybrid identity.  No attention is paid to the principle of inclusion.  This marginalisation extends from cultural exclusion to oppression, accompanied by violence, imprisonment and genocide.

The exhibition, “Collective Future”, appeals for social engagement, encourages cultural variety in society and has as its goal the parity of treatment of all sections of society.

The artistic works give the impetus to rethink and prompt a change in perspective, in that we are invited to take up a new standpoint and new ways of looking at life.  The starting point is the region of “NAWA” – the regions of North Africa (NA) and West Asia (WA).

In the six contributions to the exhibition, various aspects are taken up and presented in differing ways.  Tewa Barnosa is interested in language and its elements, as for the role of literature in the struggle against tyranny.  Dr Hanif Sharif writes poems and short stories, in which his engagement with the life of his homeland, the mountains of Balochistan, is apparent.  In her podcast, “Art Life”, Sarai Meyron tackles existential themes like origins, and apportionment to role or gender.  Ilayda Cakir presents a video on the theme of cultural identity between orientalism and patriarchy and the role of women.  Dr Maher Farkouh takes an academic approach to the central theme of hybrid identity and its role.  In a video performance Bahzad Sulaiman deals with the significance of colours and their function as an expression of resistance. 

The works of art and contributions will be shown on line successively in a weekly rotation.
24th October: Tewa Barnosa
31st October: Haneef Shareef
7th November: Sarai Meyron
14th November: Ilayda Çakir
21st November: Maher Farkouh
28th November: Bahzad Sulaiman

The exhibition is sponsored by the Lower Saxon Lotto-Sport Foundation, by the Countryside Association of South Lower Saxony, and by Göttingen District, thanks to whose support it was made possible.