Bruno Boudjelal: Frantz Fanon, presented in collaboration with the Arts and Humanities division at NYUAD and on loan from Autograph ABP in the U.K., is an installation of twenty-three photographs that reflect Boudjelal’s search for reliable traces of past histories and the imprint of Fanon’s memory.
Boudjelal’s visual journey takes him south of Algiers to Blida, where Frantz Fanon worked as a psychiatrist in a hospital at the time of the Algerian revolution during the 1950s. This is where Fanon developed his most important thesis on racism and colonialism as an intricate web of oppression that was not only economic and political but above all, deeply psychological.
“This series is based on Frantz Fanon; a Martinique born French-Algerian psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary and writer whose work is influential in the fields of post colonial studies. I felt it was important, at a point where Algeria is celebrating its fiftieth birthday, to consider the thoughts and life story of Fanon, his relation with Algeria, his position as one of the most important post-colonial thinkers, and finally the story of his journey as a human being,” said artist Bruno Boudjelal.
Boudjelal’s photographic endeavour at further uncovering the life of Frantz Fanon echoes the research work of Professor Robert Young, Silver Professor, Dean of Arts and Humanities at New York University Abu Dhabi. Prof. Young recently brought to light unpublished texts written by Fanon, including two previously unknown plays. “Bruno Boudjelal’s visual exploration of the places where Fanon lived and worked over the course of his life offers an absorbing meditation on his experiences of colonialism and alienation.” – Professor Robert Young
Mapping the contours of Fanon’s life through a series of fleeting images, shadowy figures and ghostly apparitions, Boudjelal travels to Fort-de-France, Fanon’s birthplace in the Caribbean island of Martinique, and to Aïn Kerma village in eastern Algeria, where he is buried. Boudjelal’s enigmatic photographs are presented together with text excerpts from Fanon’s seminal books, Black Skin, White Masks and The Wretched of the Earth, published in 1952 and 1961 respectively.
About the Artist
Bruno Boudjelal is a photographer and member of the VU photography agency, Paris. Born in Montreuil, on the outskirts of Paris, and of Algerian extraction, Boudjelal’s work over the past 10 years has focused on his relationship with his father, and through that, with Algeria as a whole.
His work explores the intricate links between personal identity, national identity and cultural memory. His books Disquiet Days, (2009) and Vanishing Into Reality (2015) by Autograph ABP, the latter in association with le Bec en l’Air Éditions, Marseille.
Commissioned by Mark Sealy for Autograph ABP.
Bruno Boudjelal: Frantz Fanon was commissioned by Mark Sealy for Autograph ABP and is curated by Renée Mussai. Mussai is Curator and Head of Archive at Autograph ABP. She is currently a PhD candidate at UCL; her research is concerned with black portraiture, photography and the archive.
About Autograph ABP
Established in 1988 with the mission of advocating the inclusion of historically marginalised photographic practices, Autograph ABP is a charity that works internationally in photography and film, cultural identity, race, representation and human rights.
Autograph ABP is based in London where it runs a photography gallery and a programme of talks and educational activities. It also works internationally promoting exhibitions, events and publications.
September 07 – September 27, 2017
Exhibition Opening and Talk: September 7, 2017 at 6 pm: exhibition opening followed by a conversation with artist Bruno Boudjelal, moderated by Prof. Robert Young, Dean of Arts and Humanities at NYU Abu Dhabi.
Reading: September 18, 2017 at 7pm: Play reading of The Drowning Eye by Frantz Fanon, by NYUAD Theater Program
All events are free and open to the public.