No Pasara by Leila Alaoui, 2008. Courtesy Fondation Leila Alaoui & GALLERIA CONTINUA (1)
View Gallery 11 Photos

Rite of Passage is the first major UK retrospective of works from the celebrated French-Moroccan photographer, video artist and activist Leila Alaoui. The exhibition is presented by Somerset House and 1-54 Contemporary African Art fair.

Acclaimed for capturing and preserving the unseen stories of individuals and communities displaced by conflict and unrest, Rite of Passage offers an intimate portrait into the rich cultural identities and resilience of societies facing difficult and uncertain realities. The subjects of Alaoui’s works are pictured across the contemporary Mediterranean landscape and beyond, from Syrian refugees fleeing civil war in Lebanon to young North Africans seeking an alternative future in Europe. Tragically, Alaoui was killed whilst working on a photography project for a women’s rights campaign for Amnesty International in Burkina Faso in 2016. She was critically wounded during a terrorist attack in Ouagadougou, passing away from her injuries shortly afterwards at the age of 33.

Rite of Passage showcases three of Alaoui’s defining series of photographic works created between 2008 and 2014 – Les Marocains (2010-14), No Pasara (2008) and Natreen (2013).Throughout each series, Alaoui seeks to challenge the often cliched portrayals and exoticisation of North Africa and the Arab world to present a nuanced narrative of the region, its inhabitants and immigration. The exhibition also presents Alaoui’s final unfinished video work L’Île du Diable (Devil’s Island) (2015), which explores the lives of a 1960’s generation of dispossessed migrant workers in France. Showing great sensitivity towards her subjects, Alaoui’s images are both informed yet artistic, giving a human face to the people who often become lost and misrepresented behind waves of news coverage and statistics.

The exhibition is on view until the 28th of February however In line with the new government guidance Somerset House will be closed to the public from Thu 05 Nov until at least Wed 02 Dec so the virtual exhibition tour will be the only way audiences can see the exhibition during that time period.

Here’s a virtual exhibition tour by Somerset House.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

selections-arts-logo

SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

Selections editorial presents a quarterly print magazine and weekly online publication with high quality content on all subjects related to Art and Culture. Full of world-leading artworks, exquisite brand imagery, original creative illustrations and insightful written articles.
Selections Viewing Rooms presents carefully curated online art shows aiming not only to shed light on contemporary art executed by living artists, but also for viewers to buy contemporary fine art, prints & multiples, photography, street art and collectibles.
Discover the previous and current shows here.
Cultural Narratives foundation is an extensive collection that is travelling the world by leading established and emerging talents aiming to reflect the culture of the region in their works.

RANDOM READS
Abed Abdi, Longing to the Homeland, 2020. Watercolours on paper, 68 x 50 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

ABED ABDI | DIARY OF AN ARTIST IN INTERESTING TIMES

Taking up this issue’s theme of ‘The Diary of an…

Karen Chekerdjian Studio, Marble Cigar Ashtray, 2019. Tala maron or Nero Oro marble with leather finish, 25 x 9 x 4.5 cm

THE DESIGN SHOW – WINTER EDITION

THE DESIGN SHOW – WINTER EDITION

Afra Al Dhaheri, Tasreeha, 2020. Photo credits to Ruzai Han

ABU DHABI ART | BEYOND: EMERGING ARTISTS

Beyond: Emerging Artists programme is curated by Maya El-Khalil, who…

Nabil Anani, Olive Groves #7, 2020. Mixed media on canvas, 100 x 125 cm. Courtesy of Zawyeh Gallery.

NABIL ANANI | DIARY OF AN ARTIST IN INTERESTING TIMES

Taking up this issue’s theme of ‘The Diary of an…

No Pasara by Leila Alaoui, 2008. Courtesy Fondation Leila Alaoui & GALLERIA CONTINUA (1)

Leila Alaoui | Rite of Passage

Rite of Passage is the first major UK retrospective of…

Hanaa Malallah Portrait

HANAA MALALLAH | DIARY OF AN ARTIST IN INTERESTING TIMES

Taking up this issue’s theme of ‘The Diary of an…

december 2020

17octAll Day31decRuba Salameh | TransegrityLive Now

05novAll Day23janGEORGE CONDO | INTERNAL RIOTLive Now

10novAll Day01decDORA DALILA CHEFFI | IMITATING EQUILIBRIUM