Exhibition Dates: 29th October - 6th November 2021 (Thur, Fri & Sat attendance by appointment only, please email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Private View: 29th October 2021, 19:00 - 20:30
Artist: Leila Gamaz, Sabrina Mumtaz Hasan, Fatima Zohra Serri, Ismail Zaidy, 560Zoom Collective
Curator: A.MAL Collective
Over a period of three months, A.MAL ran a research residency with two UK-based artists and three Morocco-based artists. Together they explored the algae as a material itself but also the social and economical factors at play (e.g. global demand for ‘sustainable’ ‘vegan’ material, exploitation of algae and labour in Morocco etc). To do this A.MAL facilitated a series of online workshops, talks and classes ran by industry professionals in both countries. The artists have collaborated to create a new body of work together which will premiere at P21 Gallery.
The new works include essay films, recorded performances, sound installation, and photography. A series of 4 online public events are being hosted by Dardishi throughout November, which you can find the press release for here.
About A.MAL Residency
In 2021 A.MAL started a residency funded by The British Council Morocco and Arts Council England, exploring ecology and ethics within global relations between Morocco and the UK through the motif of algae. This residency was run by artist and curator Jessica El Mal.
Algae has been sourced from the shores of El Jadida as a sustainable material (as an alternative to plastics or nylons) and as a vegan substitute. But, as the demand for vegan and sustainable material grows in the west, the shores of El Jadida have become massively over-exploited - it has even been nicknamed ‘red gold’ algae and threatened with extinction. This was the starting point for the 5 artists and the residency programme.
A.MAL is an artistic research collective exploring ecology, migration and post-coloniality through speculative projects.
“WE CAST A CRITICAL EYE ON PAST AND PRESENT GLOBAL ISSUES WHILE SEEKING TO HARNESS HUMAN CONNECTION AND CREATIVITY TO IMAGINE A BETTER, MORE HOPEFUL FUTURE; ALWAYS QUESTIONING, ALWAYS EXPLORING.”
Exhibition Coordinator, Mishelle Brito, is a freelance curator & artistic programmer working passionately to create dialogues relating to societal concerns in the Middle East through art, culture & creative based methods.
About the artists
Fatima Zohra Serri, 26 years old, born in Taza, raised in Nador, Morocco.
“I started photography in the summer of 2016 out of curiosity. I started shooting with the simple lenses of a mid range phone, a year later I decided to take my hobby to the next step and bought an affordable camera that I still shoot with until this day. I started with self portraits at home trying to express what I am feeling through photographs. I use photography to highlight some of the issues that concern women in our society and the conservative side of it in particular, keeping the Moroccan touch but with a sense of originality.”
Leila Gamaz is an Algerian-English artist and writer whose work celebrates the complexity of being mixed race. Through a combination of interviews and archival research she explores inherited trauma, ancestral wisdom, and the politics of place and belonging. Her work has been published by Vittles, Shado magazine, Azeema magazine, and Dardishi.
Sabrina Mumtaz Hasan MA, FHEA works within the mediums of scripted text, sculpture, performance and moving image. Her practice is stimulated by her writings on materialising the positive aspects of a parasite, in favour of catalysing sociological change; situated in contemporary philosophy and legacy activation. Mumtaz Hasan’s colour palette is recognisably a very close selection of browns, oranges, aubergines and yellows. Working against the pejorative perception of parasite-host relationships, she coined the term Socio-Parasitology. Her focus is on the interruptive stage and the first act of contact made between a parasite and host coupling; as an activity that releases a productive change. She explores the positive acts of interruption through temperature, immigration policy, diagram, scale, bio-matter, ethics and various states of displacement, arrival, transit and diverse bodies in flux.
Mumtaz Hasan has exhibited work as part of Cluttered (2010) was exhibited at Saatchi Gallery for “Imagine a World Without Prejudice” curated by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), COLOURED at Willesden Green Gallery (2018), Tate Exchange: Studio Complex (2018), commissioned by Small Green Shoots for National Storytelling Week (2018), Metaphonica IV: The House of Beyond Sound (2018), Nom, The Laundry Arts (2018), Us Bodies, A Socio-Parasitology Manifesto at Hundred Years Gallery (June 2018), Refugee Week (2019) and Slipstream Refugee Week (2020), Victoria and Albert Museum (2019) and Raw Labs for Newham Word Festival (2019) commissioned by Sonic Gaze for an evening of politicised performances. Artist in Resident at The Cube (Neuroscience) facilitating MY COGNITIVE PARASITE MADE ME DO IT! a round table discussion (2018) and Haramacy Residency at The Albany Theatre funded by Arts Council England. Mumtaz Hasan has led and curated The Socio-Parasitology Manifesto Exhibition focusing on Media, Migration and News Broadcasting to do with Brexit, supported and funded by University of the Arts London in January 2019 at Nunnery Gallery, Bow Arts Trust.
Ismail Zaidy is a photographer based in Marrakech.
“Photography is a family affair to me, and in 2018 I started a project named ‘3aila’, family in English, with my younger brother othmane @3outmane and sister Fatima @fatimazahrazaidy . They both play a huge part in developing the ideas behind the pictures and we also support each other in developing different concepts for new stories. I mainly use photography to express my inner point of view on some of the topics that I can’t express through words. Most of the time I am a person who doesn’t like to talk too much so the best medium that I have explored and found to express myself is through photography and imagery.”
560Zoom Collective is an interdisciplinary collective based in Casablanca, linking media art and research with regards to Morocco’s sociocultural context. The collective’s members Elodie Sacher (media scholar focusing on visual and media cultures) and Younes El Hossaini (media artist, DV camcorder videographer) participate in A.mal’s residency to explore the sonic qualities as well as visual aesthetics of algae as living organisms. Furthermore, they take a special interest in the relation between the city El Jadida and its natural resource of red algae through archives from the French protectorate, footage and interviews.
The collective includes:
Younes El Hossaini is a tape camcorder videographer and media artist based in Casablanca. In 2019, he started to organize, with other cultural actors, music concerts at the Vertigo (Casablanca). On this occasion, he explored the possibilities of VJing with audiovisual hardware from the 1990s. This curiosity for the unique aesthetics of sonic and visual hardware glitches, led to collaborations with Moroccan musicians such as Kussuf, Archidi, Raskas and Saad El Baraka. Subsequently, he formed the interdisciplinary collective 560Zoom with Badreddine Haoutar alias Snoopy (circus artist, DJ RetroCassetta) and Elodie Sacher (media scholar).
Elodie Sacher is a media scholar with a special interest in visual and media cultures, focusing on photography and its historical as well as contemporary dimensions. She is holding a BA in Cultural Studies & Cultural Policy (University of Hildesheim) and is currently enrolled in a master program about Art & Film Studies (FSU Jena) in Germany.
Elodie has been studying and working in Casablanca since 2018. In 2019, she worked for the cultural association L’Atelier de l’Observatoire (2019) accompanying projects about the material culture as well as implicit (intangible) cultural heritage of Casablanca. More recently, her French grandfather’s photo album picturing a trip in Morocco from the 1960s led her to the French protectorate’s archives and to the question of the intersection of gazes in photographs emanating from a colonial context/past. In her current research, she traces the history of photography in Morocco on the basis of the royal portraits of Moroccan kings.
P21 Gallery is an independent London-based charitable trust established to promote contemporary Middle Eastern and Arab art and culture.
A.MAL Website: https://www.amalcollective.space
A.MAL Instagram: www.instagram.com/a.mal_collective
P21 Website: https://p21.gallery/index.php
P21 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p21_gallery/?hl=en
Dardishi Website: https://www.dardishi.com/
Dardishi Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dardishi/?hl=en
The exhibition is a A.MAL project and supported by the British Council and Art Council England.