The initial successes of the revolutionary movements in Egypt and Tunisia not only sparked protests in many countries against the politics of their respective governments. In addition to this, people throughout the entire world rejoiced and celebrated along with them for a moment, irrespective of where they lived, as everyone could follow the celebrations on television and the internet.
The happiness reflected in the faces of people was an expression of joy at the possibility of still being able to alter existing power relations. This was perceptible in the enthusiasm for developing new utopias and attempting to implement them and was audible as the liberating laughter at jokes in which the powerful became the object of rebellious ridicule.
Meanwhile, things have changed. The Arab uprisings have mainly failed. In the media, internet and news we see now the desperation of the people flying from the bombs, we see the drowning refugees in the Mediterranean, we see the brutality of bombs in Yemen, Syria and Lybia, we see the atrocities of war in Iraq and Syria …
How can people preserve their dignity within such dramatic conditions? Is there still joy in the daily life of people suffering from terror and oppression? What does this daily life look like?
In my installation, I have tried to find documents for those moments of joy, solidarity and dignity.
The installation consists of the following elements: photographs taken from the internet or television, photographs taken in situ, banners, posters from the election campaign in Egypt 2011, political jokes told in Arab countries, "revolution" gadgets, books and journals, an interview with Anton A. about his experience with the authorities accompanying a Syrian refugee in Germany, recorded phone calls to a friend in Syria and a video of a bachelor party at the University of Baghdad.
* A line from the poem by Mahmud Darwish