Leila Alaoui


25.9–16.10 2016 / C-salen, Malmö Konsthall

Crossings explores the experience of sub-Saharan migrants who embark on the perilous journey to reach the elusive shores of Europe. The three-screen video installation focuses on the collective trauma provoked by the embodied experience of crossing boundaries and becoming a fragile community in a new habitat. While exploring the experiential textures of psychological and physical transition, the installation also gestures towards the concept of Europe as a problematic utopia in the African imagination.

Following weeks of research as a participant observer among migrant communities in Morocco, Leila Alaoui nurtured the idea of an immersive audiovisual experience through which to share personal stories of migration and re-enact the disturbing sensations of the journey. Coming from a documentary photography background she was interested in the capacity of contemporary video art to explore the boundaries of traditional storytelling while avoiding clichés of victimization.

Leila Alaoui (1982–2016) was French-Moroccan photographer and video artist. Born in Paris, she studied photography at the City University of New York before spending time in Morocco and Lebanon. Her work explores the construction of identity and cultural diversity, often through the prism of the migration stories that intersect the contemporary Mediterranean. Exhibitions include among others the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris (2014); Art Dubai (2015); the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris (2015) and Galleria Continua, Les Moulins (2016).


SEP 25–Oct 16