The Arrivals #1 | Khadim Ali | 2016
cotton, wool and gold leaf
160 x 130cm.
Untitled (Transitions/Evacuations series) | Khadim Ali | 2015
gouache, watercolour and gold leaf on wasli paper
71.5 x 58cm.
Courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery.
Photograph - Sam Roberts Photography
“War produces innumerable wounds, leaving scars of destruction that are carried through generations. It destroys and deconstructs societies and disrupts the sphere of time. In its displacement by war, the human body becomes the site of trauma and loss. It is exposed to harsh environments and a torrid political atmosphere. This displaced body has a name; refugee.
The effects of the refugee’s fragmented journey differ from person to person. But in almost every case the inner spirit is numbed, forcing memories to be forgotten. The smell of home, the scent of love, the delicacy of identity and the fluency of language are erased by the trauma of loss.
In our time, political circumstances and misrepresentation has painted these displaced souls as being beyond humanity. Even though they are merely attempting to escape the catastrophe of war, they are portrayed as demons (that is being other than human) who threaten the social order. In doing so, our society represses the forlorn hope of human beings who have endured the very limits of survival, ignoring that they seek little more than peace. What is at stake in how we treat them is not just their humanity, but ours.
The Arrivals seeks to give vision to this contemporary theatre of the absurd.”