It has been announced that French-Moroccan video artist and photographer, Leila Alaoui has been elected by Les Nuits Photographiques 2015 awards, which took place on September 19th for her work Crossings.
“Crossings” explores the experience of sub-Saharan migrants who leave their countries in the hopes of reaching the shores of the Mediterranean. This video installation reveals the collective trauma caused by the crossing of borders and the fragility of a community plunged into a new hostile environment. While exploring the experiential textures of the psychological and physical transitions, the installation also invokes the concept of Europe as a problematic utopia in the African collective imagination.
"After weeks of fieldwork with sub-Saharan communities in Morocco, I nourished the idea of an immersive audio-visual installation, to share the testimonies of these migrants and recreate the disturbing sensations of their trajectories. As a photographer, I was interested in the contemporary language of video art, to go beyond a traditional documentary approach and to avoid any representations of misery."
Filmed from the imaginary perspective of the migrants, “Crossings” incorporates fragments of reality between reconstructed fictional images and sound effects inspired by true stories. The result is a triptych video installation that combines voice overs and static portraits of migrants with abstract video landscapes.