Samia Henni “Performing Colonial Toxicity” at gta exhibitions — ETH Zurich

By Last Updated: March 28, 2024Views: 95

The exhibition sheds mild on the redacted historical past of French nuclear colonialism within the Algerian Sahara and attracts consideration to the urgency of reckoning with this historical past and its lived environmental and sociopolitical impacts. It was produced by Framer Framed, Amsterdam, in collaboration with If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Need To Be Half Of Your Revolution, Amsterdam.

Between 1960 and 1966, the French colonial regime detonated 4 atmospheric atomic bombs, 13 underground nuclear bombs and carried out different nuclear experiments within the Algerian Sahara, whose pure sources had been being extracted within the course of. This secret nuclear weapons programme occurred throughout and after the Algerian Revolution, or the Algerian Conflict of Independence (1954–62). The ensuing toxification of the Sahara unfold radioactive fallout throughout Algeria, North, Central and West Africa, and the Mediterranean (together with Southern Europe), inflicting irreversible and nonetheless ongoing contaminations of dwelling our bodies, cells and particles, in addition to within the pure and constructed environments. As a result of the archives of the French nuclear programme stay closed over fifty years later, historic particulars and persevering with impacts stay largely unknown.

The exhibition “Performing Colonial Toxicity” presents obtainable, supplied, contraband and leaked supplies from these archives in an immersive multimedia set up. It creates with them a sequence of audio-visual assemblages, which hint the spatial, atmospheric, and geological impacts of France’s atomic bombs within the Sahara, in addition to its colonial vocabularies, and the (after)lives of its radioactive particles and nuclear waste. Taking up an architectural scale, these “stations,” as Henni refers to them, are supposed to be moved by means of and engaged with. Guests are invited in to attract their very own connections between what’s current within the set up, in addition to what’s absent from it.

Experimenting with completely different strategies of spatialising and circulating suppressed data, the mission’s three-part construction constitutes a robust name to motion to open the still-classified archives and to scrub/decontaminate the websites: each essential steps for exposing the pasts, presents and futures of colonial toxicity. The exhibition emerges from a broader analysis mission, which additionally consists of an open entry digital database entitled The Testimony Translation Project, and the publication Colonial Toxicity: Rehearsing French Radioactive Architecture and Landscape in the Sahara. This publication brings collectively practically 600 pages of supplies documenting this violent historical past of France’s nuclear bomb programme within the Algerian desert. Meticulously culled collectively by the architectural historian Samia Henni from throughout obtainable, supplied, contraband, and leaked sources, the ebook is a wealthy repository for all these involved with histories of nuclear weapons and engaged on the intersections of spatial, social and environmental justice, in addition to anticolonial archival practices.

at gta exhibitions — ETH Zurich
till April 2, 2024

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