The Royal Standard
Youcef Hadjazi’s project Trauma Then, Trauma Now explores collective and transgenerational trauma in post-colonial nations by focusing on the Algerian Civil War, often known as ‘The Black Decade’.
This exhibition at The Royal Standard, the first live presentation of the project, will present a new performance film informed by research the artist has been undertaking over the past year. Through this in-depth research of the war and its impacts on the Algerian population, Hadjazi aims to deconstruct and highlight the ways that a legacy of colonial trauma can transcend generations.
The Algerian Civil War was preceded by a number of internal conflicts in the late 1980’s and early 90’s. Gradually, a large, barbaric extremist group was formed, which terrorised the nation for a decade. Throughout the conflict, groups would build shelters and bases in rural parts of the country, which were often destroyed by the Algerian government by burning forests, leading to huge levels of deforestation and damage.
Hadjazi’s filmed performance, in collaboration with dramaturg illyr, embodies emotional and physical interpretations of the trauma provoked by the Civil War. Each individual movement revisits a place in time of conflict and colonial damage, inspired by the psychoanalytic practice of EMDR – a technique often used for patients suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This technique can allow for the brain to be distracted from the body, meaning memories are able to be reprocessed.
Movement & dramaturgy: illyr
Youcef Hadjazi is an Algerian-born, Kuwait-raised visual artist and creative producer. Predominantly based between London and Manchester, Hadjazi’s artistic work across lens-based media and performance while exploring multimedia possibilities.
He has exhibited across the UK and Europe, often while working closely with local communities. Hadjazi has collaborated with arts organisations, including: SomoS Berlin, Manchester International Festival, Live Art Development Agency (London), HOME Manchester, P21 Gallery (London) Homotopia Festival (Liverpool), Waterside Arts Centre (Manchester).