Zineb Sedira was born in France in 1963 to Algerian parents. She was raised in France and then moved to London, where she developed as artist starting to create videos and installations. Her interest for the postcolonial subject and for issues linked to the diasporic condition, to the notions of origin and memory, showed up right from her debut works.
In 2003, after years away due to the situation of political chaos, she was able to return to Algeria. Such experience turned out to be fundamental and marked her work with a highly autobiographical feature: the recovered direct contact with her country of origin led her to reconnect with her family history, to explore her parents’ fate story, their role and their personal experiences during the Independence War, their condition as immigrants in France. The works of this phase refer to the experience of dislocation and to familiar uses and dynamics rooted on origins and tied to genre differences.
Following such direct confrontation with personal history, those same issues were formulated in metaphoric terms, live shooting made room to images elaborated on the basis of an outstanding compositional skill and portraits of people were replaced by portraits of places. In fact, the return to Algeria implied also a renovated relationship with a landscape – that of her own country or of neighbouring countries – in which personal events seem to penetrate collective ones and vice versa.
- 11 March 2020