Muzej afričke umetnosti (MAU)
in collaboration with
Students’ City Cultural Center
ALTERNATIVE FILM/VIDEO 2021
“THIS IS NOT A WAR”
The Liberation of Mind and Land, in Ink and in Action
The exhibition The Liberation of Mind and Land, in Ink and in Action starts from an iconic photograph that marked the meeting of Franz Fanon, psychoanalyst and philosopher from Martinique, Omar Usedik, leader of the Algerian struggle for independence and Zdravko Pečar, participant in the events and author of the capital work “Algiers to Independence” in which he as a historian and journalist gives his own, but also the collective Yugoslav contribution to this great struggle. The photo was taken in 1960/61 in the apartment of Franz Fanon, the then representative of the Provisional Algerian Government in Tunisia, where numerous participants in the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962) gathered in a lively exchange of revolutionary ideas. The Battle of Algiers (1966), a film made only a few years after the liberation of Algeria and largely inspired by Fanon’s essay “Algeria Unveiled”, also testifies to the strength of Fanon’s ideas. Through the analysis of written and recorded actions! of taking off and putting on the veil, the exhibition seeks to present the numerous and layered aspects of this historical moment not only through the works of famous revolutionaries, but also through interpretations of the participation and contributions of Algerian women. Not forgetting Fanon’s visionary perspective on the subversive and at least twofold role of the Algerian woman who removes the veil and takes on a European identity, however, we must not omit the fact that women’s involvement in war always and everywhere (and today) comes from despair and necessity, but not enlightenment and feminist consciousness.
In addition to selected footage from the film The Battle of Algiers at the exhibition, photographic and documentary materials, magazines, correspondence and publications from the Museum of African Art will be presented as evidence of active Yugoslav presence, the participation of Dr. Zdravko Pečar, but also Veda Zagorac, on the front lines of the struggle for the decolonization of Africa.
Exhibition curators: Emilia Epstein and Ana Knežević
Photo identification expert: Badreddine Bouaïcha
We extend our posthumous gratitude to Saadi Yacef (1928-2021), co-producer of the Battle of Algiers (1966), based on his memoirs, as well as the production company Casbah Entertainment, which made it possible to reproduce footage and exhibit scenes from the film.