Delegation of the European Union to Uzbekistan

Phantoms, Ruins, and Reflections: Contemporary Art from Yemen

16/11/2020 - 08:48
Visual artsConference/seminar

On 17 November, the European External Action Service organised a virtual launch of Phantoms, Ruins, and Reflections: Contemporary Art from Yemen.

The event featured a virtual walk through art pieces which are part of an online exhibition on Yemeni art. A conversation followed with Hans Grundberg, Ambassador of the European Union to Yemen, Sama’a Al Hamdani, Founder and Director of The Yemen Cultural Institute for Heritage & the Arts, also curator of the exhibition and Alia Ali, Yemeni-Bosnian-US artist whose work also features in the exhibition. Khadija al-Salami, award-winning Yemeni filmmaker moderated the discussion.

The event can be watched again here.

War takes centre stage in Hakim Alakel’s work. His Electric Mourning confronts the viewer with a vivid depiction of the horrors of war in the public space. He then brings us inside Yemenis’ homes, to witness for ourselves the contrast with the impact of the war in the intimacy of the private sphere. Alia Ali’s Borderland looks at Yemen and its heritage through the beauty of its textiles. Her futurist film "Mahjar" explores displacement and finding a place among the Yemeni diaspora. In Pursuit of Healing, Sarah Al-Aulaqi restores buildings that were scarred by the conflict. Ziryab Al-Ghabri Brother's Blood photographs take us to Socotra, challenging perceptions and celebrating the island’s Dragon Blood Trees. Obaid Salem’s The Standard gives us a glimpse into scenes from Yemenis’ everyday life.

With this startling exhibition, we want to spark a conversation. And underline that Yemen is much more than a forgotten conflict and that this conflict must come to an end.

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