( Liberty, Social Equity, Unity)
“Every revolution comes with a bag of unfulfilled promises”
Single-Channel split screen video
Hi-Def & mimi-DV, 4 minutes
Producer: Singapore Biennale 2006
Ars Aevi Museum, Sarajrvo, Bosna
MuHKA Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, Belgium
National Museum, Bamako, Mali
Singapore Biennale 2006
MuHKA Museum of Art, Antwerp, Belgium, 2007
National Museum, Bamako, Mali, 2007
Ars Aevi Museum, Sarajrvo, Bosna, 2008
Queens Museum, New York, USA, 2009
Centre George Pompidou, Paris, France, 2010
In 1952, a group of military officers came to power in Egypt with a coup d’etat. They came with a bouquet of promises: independence from the British empire, modernization of a country worn out by centuries of occupation, social equity and proper distribution of wealth to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, unity of all factions, minorities and ideologies in one big modern democratic society.
The bright slogans of this coup d’etat / revolution influenced the lay people in numerous states in the Arab world, all occupied by previous colonial powers, stimulating feelings of separatism and independence, exporting revolutionary ideas (and sometimes technical support) to other states in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
Slightly over half a century later and despite the sometimes blind faith and total belief of the mass public, all promises remain unfulfilled, people are still trying to get liberated from the total economic dependence on multinational-transcontinental corporations, a gap between the rich and the poor is massive, the national identity is contaminated by neo-pan-Islamism, and many states who got inspired by this revolution and who thrived on the unity promise are threatened by civil war.
The screen is divided in three parts; each part shows the protagonist/ freedom fighter.
Screen one, Social Equity: represents the military belief, with the left wing promises of social equity and secular pride. The gun in the hands of the protagonist and his obsessive action with it declares true intentions of military politics and promises.
Screen two, Liberty: represents free market belief, the multinational corporations promises of profit, prosperity and economic freedom. The hammer in the hand of the protagonist and his rhythmic action of hitting nails represents the true nature of the promise: rules of neo-slavery in costumes of middle managers and executive outfits.
Screen three, Unity: represents rising fundamentalism and global right wing penetration. The Satour (egyptian blade for cutting chunks of raw meet) in the hands of the Islamist, his outfit and his decapitation of the blond dolls represent the clash of civilizations and culture of intolerance. The moves and looks of the protagonist, touching the legs and breasts of the dolls prior to decapitation declare the sexist nature of right wing beliefs.