“Do you think European countries think that they’re successful in their allocation of funds?”

Que ne faut-il pas dire et faire pour obtenir des financements?

orientalism-versus-occidentalism

S’agissant d’artistes ou d’ONG arabes, entre les revendications ou expressions qu’ils ressentent et celles que leurs financiers potentiels souhaiteraient les voir ressentir, la synthèse est parfois délicate, comme le souligne cet article de Mada Masr sur les travaux de la sociologue allemande Ilka Eickhof, et plus particulièrement une conférence donnée au Caire sous le titre « Hey big Spender: Cultural Politics and Foreign Cultural Institutions in Cairo« . Une artiste égyptienne ne s’intéressant pas à la politique en 2011, voilà une chose que ne concevaient pas les acheteurs potentiels, ou bailleurs de fonds d’expositions dans musées européens ou centres culturels étrangers au Caire – ainsi la street artist égyptienne Aya Tarek:

Let me tell you why. After the revolution – or the ‘Arab Spring’ – I didn’t care about politics, and I still don’t care about politics. I mean this in a direct sense; I have my political opinions, but it doesn’t show vividly in my work. The thing was that a market opened up after the revolution. Everyone was looking at Egypt. If you produced anything about the revolution [or] about politics, it would sell immediately – it would sell rapidly, in a scary way. A lot of artists, writers, journalists, and activists worked with politics and thrived on politics, even if [the works] were really poorly done or … naïve … it didn’t matter. As long as [they were] about a political situation, [they were] good.

This is my problem, generally, particularly with how the ‘West’ looks at us. I think it happened with Beirut after the Civil War, and [the same thing] happened with Iran. All the Iranian [directors] who make movies about oppression, women, and politics – [they] all sell well. I [have an] issue with this, because I want to be critiqued for my work, my artistic value – not the value I gain from being in a political situation or because something happened in my country, or because I’m Middle Eastern or a woman … or – oh God, imagine – a Middle Eastern woman! If I were from the West, then my art would be critiqued [for what it is]. But because I’m Egyptian, I find there is often this undercurrent, like, you are just so brave for making art in spite of all your suffering.

Des ONG de défense des droits de l’homme pourraient sans doute dire la même chose – au Maroc, ils sont sans doute peu à penser que l’abolition de la peine de mort est la priorité numéro 1 du point de vue des violations des droits de l’homme que vivent les Marocains, mais c’est sans doute plus facile à obtenir des financements pour une conférence sur ce thème que pour la défense des syndicalistes ou des salafistes.

Sinon j’ai apprécié ce passage:

However, it is not all bleak, as Eickhof pointed out to a room that was largely full of staff and associates of Western cultural institutions in Cairo.

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