Reina & Abdelbaki - PhMuseum

Reina & Abdelbaki

Anita Pouchard Serra

2019 - Ongoing

Argentina; France; Algeria

Reina & Abdelbaki is a three-voice conversation which aims to explore war‘s memories, identity complexities and the existence of a possible transnational space in a post/des-colonial era between France and Algeria after the war and Algeria independance in 1962.

After 5 years of work around migrations and identity about others, the questions I asked them came back to me and shook me to my core, to question the identity I had built up throughout my french childhood and discovered a more complex one behind my white skin. At the same time, my mother's memories became more present in her life and mind, like in France where the French-Algerian war is regularly a topic and at the heart of many lives. Current tensions between the French society, the State and its Muslim community are the visible part of a post/des-colonial history that hasn’t yet been written.

In the shadow of global failure, Reina & Abdelbaki built unintentionaly a small space of resistance and resilience. Reina, is my spanish mother, born and raised in Oran, Algeria (1954-1962) settled in France after the French-Algerian war (which ended in 1962). Fifteen years ago, she virtually met Abdelbaki, an Algerian born after the war, settled in Reina’s childhood district in Oran, through an online forum about Oran and its history.

The project combine archives collected and produced by Reina and Abdelbaki, our virtual correspondences and my visual production in France and Argentina inspired by their past, our shambling present and my questions.

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  • Archive picture of my mother Reina during her holidays in Spain, dressed as a tipical spanish woman.
    The picture is placed on the floor of my home in Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Diptych of an archive photograph of Reina's neighborhood in Oran, where we can see her house. Right, portrait of her in Paris, France.

  • Composition 1 based on Abdelbaki smartphone video and virtual tour around the " Arenas" where Reina lived between 1952 until the end of the war. In the middle of frames sequence from the video, an archive photo of Reina's house ( today destroyed), in the second when Abdelbaki'videos mention it

  • An old map of the colonial Algeria where a mental map of Reina's neighborhood drawn by herself is supeposed. A conflictive encounter about the History, colonialism and childhood memories.

  • Composition 2 based on Abdelbaki smartphone video and virtual tour around the " Arenas" where Reina lived between 1952 until the end of the war. In the middle of frames sequence from the video, an archive photo of Reina' at school , in the second when Abdelbaki'videos mention it

  • View of a wall with red blood-like paint stains and the number 1962 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    I took this picture working in a popular neighborhood, and this vision shakes my post memory

  • Diptych with a portrait of Reina in Paris, France and a collage of her ID picture, when she left Algeria and a "google searched" image, found by her, to express what she saw in the streets of her neighbordhood during the war. " I saw something like this, but covered by newpapres"

  • Public archives where my family appear in a spanish newspaper and in the National spanish TV in 1962 when they arrive as refugees to the place where they officially belong to.

  • Self-portrait in Buenos Aires in collage with with extracts from the official act of naturalization of my grandparents and my mother, in France in the 70's after they finally decided to migrate from Spain to France after the Algerian war of independance

  • The last spanish passport of my mother before becaming french with a picture of me, at 5 years old, dressed as a spanish little dancer.


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