Holding Rehearsals - hold on to her - installation

In the central exhibition space, the video installation hold on to her (2024, 75') is presented on three screens. This audio-visual work collects the stories and reflections of both undocumented and documented resident activists on the case of Mawda Shawri through a collective hearing. This was held in the summer of 2023 in an assembly space coordinated by La Voix des sans papiers in Brussels, an activist network by and for undocumented persons, striving for general regularization in Belgium.

In this hearing session, the speakers acknowledge a ghostly haunting, caused by the impunity of the police and the lack of accountability by the state. It is in their refusal of such a shortage of truth and humanity that they feel the need to explore beyond the official narratives. Together they produce the counter evidence of Mawda’s deadly crossing.
This collective journey is supported by a co-elaborative audio-visual grammar, which foregrounds the opaque and the poetic. Given the inability to proceed within the dominant frameworks and the urge to imagine other possible worlds, this collective hearing challenges what is visible and audible. The images on the multiple screens move back and forth between the setting of the hearing and the site of the crime – the highway between Namur and Mons. The dialogue is imaginary: the collective inner world of a forum is projected onto a landscape, which is at once haunting and mournful.

Through three standing projection screens, the sequences of the landscape become extended and doubled, environing the hearing’s journey. Additionally, elements of both the setting of the collective hearing and the highway landscape are replicated in a scenography, designed by artist Arthur Jules, of carpets and chairs, which forms a facilitating architectural design in the temple space.

Image: Lola Pertsowsky