The video dialogue Aus-Land presents two videos that explore different notions of alienation and otherness. The title Aus-Land refers to the German word for “foreign country” = “Ausland”, at the same time, the hyphen adds the idea of exteriority, of being “outside” (“aus”) a country.
Mobility and flexibility, readiness to adapt and improvise are just some of the keywords used in times of a globalized capitalism to suggest how to guarantee economic survival. Thereby, the wellbeing of individual persons is mostly left out of consideration; each human being is left alone in a network of cost-benefit thinking that reduces the entire existence to economic efficiency. At the same time, many are being excluded from this mobility that is transformed into a privilege, a sign of belonging to a questionable, new elite. An elite that is in constant risk of losing all sense of belonging, whether this is defined locally or socially.
In her video The Noise of Silence, the Tunisian artist Moufida Fedhila presents images of a ghetto-like urban environment in an Italian town where African immigrants live surrounded by a high wall, secluded from other parts of the city. The stern, black-and-white aesthetic and the use of slow tracking shots bear a strong resemblance to images from the liberated concentration camps and convey an atmosphere of anxiety and unease. Lebanese artist Ghassan Halwani explores the idea of the birth of an adult in his video Jibraltar, a human being who is born fully grown, but without the burden of a past and memory. What appears like a utopia and a possibility for a fresh start turns toward a nightmarish mirage. Halwani’s protagonist seems utterly lost in a hostile, strange urban landscape.