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Displacements: Yemen Diasporas

From September 18, 2020 until January 10, 2021Mondays through Saturdays, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30. Sundays and holidays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
MADRID
Casa Árabe exhibition halls (at Calle Alcalá, 62). Mondays through Saturdays, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30. Sundays and holidays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.
In Spanish.

From September 18 through January 10, Casa Árabe will be hosting this exhibition at its Madrid headquarters, with photographic works by Shaima Al-Tamimi and Thana Faroq. The exhibition is being held as part of the PHotoESPAÑA photography festival.

The official opening event is planned for September 17 at 8:00 p.m., in Casa Árabe’s exhibition halls.

This exhibition consists of an exploration of the personal and family displacements related by two photographers and storytellers of Yemeni origin, within the context of the population movements arising from the conflicts that have marked Yemen’s recent history, far from its glorious past as one of the greatest centers of civilisation in the Middle East.

The works by Shaima Al-Tamimi and Thana Faroq reflect universal topics involving displacement, reflecting upon the social and cultural issues which continue to exist despite distance, while linking identity to freedom and the limitations imposed upon it. 

Shaima Al-Tamimi, a Yemeni-Kenyan visual storyteller whose family emigrated to various countries before finally settling in the United Arab Emirates, explores Yemeni roots and influences from other territories through her own family history.

“As a child in the Gulf, I was hardly aware of the origins behind my mixed Afro-Yemeni identity.  It was not until much later, after researching and connecting with people of Yemeni descent like myself (...) that I discovered a whole subculture that unites us across countries and borders. Our journeys are connected through the languages we speak, the fabrics we wear and the flavors of our cuisine: rich and vibrant, all despite a long list of colonizations, wars and constant migrations.

Al-Tamimi, in her series “As If We Never Came,” thus delves into her personal history, addressing the models and impacts of migration, identity and culture in a cross-cutting manner. Her documentary approach merges together historical and family archives creating a living narrative that provides unique insight into the life and common roots of the Yemeni diaspora.

The story grows darker in the series by Yemeni documentary filmmaker Thana Faroq, who is based in the Netherlands. She tells a personal and collective story of displacement and migration based on her own experience and that of so many refugees to whom she gives dignity and uniqueness through portraits and writings. The world that Thana Faroq presents to us is not so fluid: “We live in a world where we are separated by borders and walls.” In her series, “I Don’t Recognize Me in the Shadows,” each individual’s nationality of becomes a heavy burden and a barrier to achieving freedom. Thana Faroq offers us beautiful, melancholy images which attempt to reveal the fragile, transitory essence of many refugees’ lives, alternating with reflections on personal moments and testimonies that portray their hopes and struggles.

Arantza Aramburu Hamel
Curator
Displacements: Yemen Diasporas
Shaima Al-Tamimi , As if we never came, 2019