Soundtrack to Puzzled Identities
Exhibition Dates: 1st - 31st July 2021
Curator: Mishelle Brito
Artists: Zineb Belrhiti-Alaoui
فزعانة يا قلبي
ما تعرفني بلادي
I am afraid
Of growing up in exile
And my hometown wouldn’t recognize me
Fairouz, "نسم علينا الهوا" (Eng: The Air Breezed Upon Us)
Soundtrack to Puzzled Identities is an audiovisual project aiming to address the entangled identity of diaspora Arabs, through a series of music-themed, pop art derived digital illustrations accompanied with musical mashups.
From Umm Kulthum to Mashrou’ Leila, Soundtrack to Puzzled Identities juxtaposes iconic Arab artists onto well known western album covers, consciously merging the past & present into new conceptually layered illustrations that transcend cultural boundaries while playing with the intersection of tradition and modernity. The exhibition aims to trigger nostalgia amongst those familiar, while stimulating a sense of curiosity about iconic musical figures who have shaped Arab and popular culture.
While amusing and playful the illustrations and composed mashups are a call to Arab & non-Arab audiences alike to dispel the idea that cultures are incompatible, rather celebrating the ambiguity and diversity of Arab identity in the modern world.
About the Artist
Zineb Belrhiti-Alaoui is a self-taught Moroccan artist. She grew up in the United Arab Emirates and has recently graduated from University College London with a BASc Arts and Sciences degree. Currently based in Dubai, she enjoys exploring different subjects and mediums including graphic design, photography and videography with her main practice being digital illustration. Zineb revisits her roots and explores her diverse identity through her pop culture-influenced illustrations.
reACT is an innovative program, established by P21 Gallery to promote and support emerging and student artists whose work is dedicated to or inspired by the Middle East & Arab world by providing a space within the P21 Gallery and/or P21 Gallery website for an artistic intervention. reACT aims to contribute in building and strengthening cultural ties and dialogues between the East and West on terms designed by a younger generation.
Mishelle Brito is a London based artistic programmer and curator working to create dialogues relating to societal concerns in the Middle East through art, culture and creative based methods.
P21 is an independent London-based charitable trust established to promote contemporary Middle Eastern and Arab art and culture.
For further information, press images and interview opportunities, please contact reACT Programme Manager & Curator, Mishelle Brito at: reACT@p21.org.uk
The exhibition is a reACT project and supported by the Art Council England and HUB Collective.