Against the backdrop of the Cold War’s bi-polar tensions during the 1960s and 1970s, militants from all the continents convened in Algiers and witnessed a forging of a ‘third way’, other possible futures. The Algerian capital hosted everyone from national liberation movements, political exiles, rebels and disillusioned Westerners. Drawing on the liberation movements’ broadcasts aired by the Algerian National Broadcasting Company (RTA), Yasmina Reggad develops polyglot and polyphonic sonic productions that echo her journey through the worlds of ideas and ideals of a time when Algiers was dubbed the ‘Mecca of Revolution’. Initiated in 2016, the long-term research we dreamt of utopia and we woke up screaming spans across several continents and several languages. A diverse corpus of both audio-visual and documentary archive elements and contemporary documents intertwines with testimonies by key actors and militant voices of the 1960s and 1970s and the present.
Listening Session is an invitation extended to historian Malika Rahal (Paris, France) and the collective Chimurenga (Cape Town, South Africa) to dive together into Yasmina Reggad’s sound archive and engage with the wealth of alternative archive produced by the Pan African Space Station’s broadcast.
+ Archival audio & video material in English, Arabic, Algerian Darija, Spanish, French, Portuguese & German
Yasmina Reggad is a performance artist, researcher, writer and dramaturge based in Brussels. Currently she is curator of the French Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale, co-founder and artistic director of the Bienal das Amazônias and curator at aria, an artist residency in Algiers. She holds an MA in Medieval History from the Sorbonne University. Yasmina Reggad’s performative work has recently been staged at La Cantine Syrienne de Montreuil, Les Rencontres à l’échelle / Mucem and Jeu de Paume (France); KANAL-Centre Pompidou and Kaaitheater, Tabakalera International Centre for Contemporary Culture (Spain) and Biennale Warszawa (Poland).
Malika Rahal est historienne, chargée de recherche au CNRS, est spécialiste de l’histoire contemporaine de l’Algérie. Elle dirige, depuis 2022, l’Institut d’histoire du temps présent (IHTP). Elle est l’auteure de plusieurs ouvrages, notamment de L’UDMA et les Udmistes (Éditions Barzakh, 2017), d’une biographie d’Ali Boumendjel, avocat et militant nationaliste assassiné en 1957 (Belles Lettres, 2011; réed. La Découverte, 2022) et d’Algérie 1962. Une histoire populaire (La Découverte, 2022).
Chimurenga is a project-based mutable object, workspace, and pan-African platform for editorial activities. Founded by Ntone Edjabe in Cape Town in 2002, it makes space for ideas and reflection by Africans about Africa. The aim of their activities is not just to produce new knowledge, but to express the intensities of our world, to capture those forces, and to take action.
Creation, research and direction: Yasmina Reggad
Performed by: Yasmina Reggad and Malika Rahal
Broadcasted by: Chimurenga - Pan African Space Station
Initially commissioned by Dominique Malaquais & Julie Peghini for Afrique : Utopies performatives (2021)
Dedicated to: Dominique Malaquais