3 screens Video Installation
Black & White, Colour, Sound, 19 min 50

Coproduced by Palais de Tokyo and Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art Courtesy of the artist
Part of the Mathaf Collection

On November 18, 2009, the Algerian football team won a match against Egypt by a goal to nil, thus ensuring a place in the 2010 World Cup. Public jubilation was all the greater, given that both countries were experiencing political tensions.

The artist Amina Menia remembers how, to her eyes, the celebrations seemed almost surreal and reminded her of the festivities that followed the independence of Algeria in 1962.

The same patriotic élan could be seen in these moments during which the streets turned back into a civic space. In this way, her video installation traces a parallel between political and sporting histories through the use of archive images, but also two original interviews. The first one gathers the reactions of Rachid Mekhloufi, one of the stars of A.S. Saint-Etienne in the 1960s and a genuine part of Algerian football’s family tree.

In the second one, Slimane Zeghidour, a writer, senior reporter and great specialist in geopolitical questions, takes a distant view of football as a major symptom of our era.
He provides an enlightened reading of the weight of history, especially colonial history, in the bumpy development of relationships between the Algerian and French peoples. Amina Menia examines football as a social escape-route, and shows up the way the collective narrative which is invented through this sport becomes a substitute for a genuine democratic history confiscated by the military power.

By tracing these connections, she thus brings out an underlying reality and raises questions about the relationships between a national representation, the feeling of belonging, emotional fervour and a community’s destiny.