Saturday, 4 January 2014

New Year's Greetings from Zwewla


Zwewla at Maison de Jeune Hammam Sousse, January 3, 2014.

Zwewla has created a New Year card in the shape of a mural. Quite small, as they say themselves, in that their economic means are non-existent at present. In itself a democratic problem when the democratic pioneers have no means to reach out. 

But small as the mural is, it is a precise statement with the iconographical elements we know so well from Zwewla. It consists of four personalities we lost in 2013. As read from the left in the order of the time of their death: Chokri Belaïd in February, Hugo Chávez in March, Mohammed Brahmi in July and lastly Nelson Mandela in December.

Zwewla at Maison de Jeune Hammam Sousse, January 3, 2014.

Museums have been discussing for the past decades how to manifest our immaterial heritage to get away from their dreaded self-image as storerooms for spoons and stools. Yes, museums are riddled with a fear of who they are, but the answer they seek is close at hand. The four personalities before us are stenciled in the line of the young killed since 2011: Lest we forget.

Their faces have once again become physical entities, but they are before us to pose a problem, which we are to take upon us. In this case the four of them are combined by the running red paint, usually a symbol of a much needed loss of control from the authorities, according to Zwewla, but this one is running for a sad reason. Not just the blood, the red stands no less for anger.

The two of the four were murdered. In combination with the two others, the four form a demand on the need to question the reality of poverty and lack of democratic rights. Those were the ones the two opposition leaders were addressing and the probable cause for their murder. The suspicion points towards the religious quarters, those who claim to have direct access to higher powers, although the claim is not likely to work both ways:



Nadia Khiari: WillisfromTunis, Hommage à Zouhair Yahyaoui par Willis from Tunis,
March 13, 2013, yakayaka.org (December 8, 2013).
- What you do think about the situation?
- For my part, I wish to know who killed Chokri Belaïd?

With so much indignation embedded in a condensed mural, ready to reach out, may the tides change in the year ahead. The signature itself seems almost ready to pop out into three dimensions in its close-up:


Zwewla at Maison de Jeune Hammam Sousse, January 3, 2014.

Artworks and photos courtesy of their artists and must not be reproduced without their permission.


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