Sunday, 24 November 2013

The non-consensual witness


"Oh, but you can be sure that the Norwegian political prisoners are not treated as well as this".

Norwegian political prisoners

In Scandinavia we have had no such thing as political prisoners since the time of my great-great-great-great-grandparents. The fact that the remark was in the tone from one who has seen too much, was an all too telling glimpse of the reality the young in this case Northern Africa is facing. Today Zwewla made a one-eyed happening to mark the brutal repression of last year's demonstration in Siliana against poverty and for the release of prisoners withheld since April 2011. 300 were injured, many of whom with serious eye-injuries. The strategy is the same every time, the protesters can easily be detected afterwards. Unless everyone wears an eye patch:

Photo: Zwewla, November 24, 2013.
A very literal interpretation of the artistic gaze upon the world, at once humorous and an acute political analysis. Nadia Khiari gave a short interview at this year's Forum de la culture Avignon, where she spoke of the artist as a non-consensual witness. It is in fact one of her least political interviews, she usually speaks very little of art, cutting directly to the problems at hand, the very way she does in WillisfromTunis. In this case she is commenting on the strengths of the art scene, if it can be so called when not ordered into institutions, thereby engaging the young of which Zwewla alone is proof:





And so artists and prisons are put into the same sentence by a specimen of the Bearded Self-Righteous by the name of Yahia Boulahia dealing out fatwas, one for each day. His cartoonist remains anonymous with a phenomenal gift of uniting form and content. Yahia Boulahia is composed of question and exclamation marks, the embodiment of distrust and outrage:


Yahia Boulahia: The Fatwa of the Day, November 14, 2013:
"Sweden is closing down prisons due to the lack of prisoners.
- don't they have any artists in Sweden?!!"

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