Deliberate contradictions

Deliberate contradictions

Camels wandering through bamberg or hamburg, sausages with pretzels and submerged mustard as a culinary reflection of their new homeland, people from distant lands rehearsing punk rebellion or waiting for a bus with their headphones over their ears: malek zaghbouni's pictures show, from the perspective of a refugee, the deliberate contradictions of those affected, who – torn from their country and their family – live with several cultures. Feelings can't be put into words – especially when the other person doesn't speak the same language, shares the same ideals?

Art as a bridge

That art can indeed build bridges to bring cultures together and to make the misunderstandable more understandable is shown by the deeply touching acrylic paintings and photographs that have been adorning the wall of the gallery in the kronach district office since monday.

"With integration in the new homeland, must a person leave everything behind in order not to appear 'different', in order to fit as a perfect cog in the clockwork of his new society??", asks the exhibitor. He is not a friend of politics, he says, but he is a friend of people. That is why his picture show is an "exhibition by people for people".

District cultural officer gisela lang and deputy district administrator bernd steger were pleased with the very good response. In addition to representatives of the art scene, they were able to bury many people involved in refugee work, dean dorothea richter from the protestant church and even guests from afghanistan and the ivory coast. The exhibition came about on the recommendation of herta wachter, who has been the mother-in-law of the painter who lives in bamberg since april 2018. While malek zaghbouni has had many exhibitions in tunisia, this is his first in germany, where he has lived since 2011. "Thus our gallery is once again a newcomer forum", the deputy district administrator was pleased.

Malek zaghbouni was born in lubeck in 1987 – the son of a parisian woman and a tunisian man. When he was five years old, his father set up his own tool company in tunisia. The move to tunisia was a complete change for him as a child, as he did not understand the local language. Later he studied for five years at art academies in paris and in sousse, the third largest city in tunisia. In bamberg he is self-employed as a designer in the media sector. Deeply moved by the images, the district cultural officer recalled the hospitality she and her family had received in other countries, with invitations to eat from people who had very little to eat themselves. "Everyone should think about how hospitable they are", put them in the room. At the same time, she appealed for a united effort to counter the incitements and slogans.

The soul of a refugee

"I wanted to depict the soul of a refugee, how he takes in his new home in the beer garden and when he visits church – the integration process when he sees germany and europe for the first time – together with his emerging relics of the past, which accompany him through life.", stressed malek zaghbouni. With his "messages of understanding", he wanted to get people to look at things from a different angle.

He plans to donate part of the proceeds from the sale of pictures from the exhibition to the arbeitskreis asyl landkreis kronach to support refugees on their way to a home and safety. 


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