Amina Menia

Lost Senses, 2016
Series of photographs, variable dimensions

For several years now, I look at the landscape of my city and its buildings to apprehend the history and the transformations of my society. Inevitably, I have worked on its colonial and post-colonial period, fundamental to understand our contemporary history.
I developed a real passion (not to say a necessity) for history, memory and commemoration. I document, collect and compare stories about memorials or monuments. I also explored the post-independence euphoria and disillusion.
But closer to me is the transformational period of the nineties, called chastely by the Algerians the “black decade”, and widely known as “civil war”. It was more than a decade of violence and trauma, of urban attacks and mass assassinations making too many victims.
We can’t see any trace of this violence nowadays. All the walls in the streets are clean and repaired. A Lebanese journalist visiting Algiers told me that she was amazed by the absence of traces, of bullets on the facades. Everything is repaired. The scars are maybe invisible, but they are interiorised. We have to dig in our memories and into archives to reminisce the events. Therefore, it is through the absence that I need to apprehend this question.

Text provided by the artist
Co-commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation