Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme: Unforgiving Years: The Incidental Insurgents, Part 2. At Carroll/Fletcher

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– an exhibition in three narrative parts
– “The first part looks at the resonance between the inspiring, bizarre and sometimes tragic stories of these diverse bandits, the outsider rebel par excellence, often rewritten as mere criminals (or naively romanticised as wayward figures) and excluded from the narrative of revolutionary struggle. Ironically these figures most clearly articulate the incompleteness and inadequacies in existing oppositional movements political language and imaginary.

While the opening chapter expresses the longing for more radical forms of action and the characters’ urgent need to overcome their unbearable living conditions, the second part, Unforgiving Years (2014) – which is premiering in the UK – looks at what happens when these gestures are unfulfilled, for those who are not killed, somehow left behind. It examines a recurrent impulse to refuse the seeming ‘permanence’ of a capitalist-colonial present, that though defeated at multiple moments, continues to resurge and return. Unforgiving Years is about things lost and others glimpsed in the wreckage, about what can be conjured into being from the ashes. A victory in defeat. A provocation to rethink the seemingly unimaginable.” from the press release

  • I liked the form of this exhibition, which comes across as quite chaotic – fitting for the political subject matter
  • I would like to work on something like this that is research driven and uses/analyses lots of different sources. The papers everywhere, and the windowless basement room felt like we were in a war room/bunker/meeting place
  • I liked the mixing of fact and fiction and the blurring of lines between places and events, moments in history
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