The multidisciplinary working Foundland Collective was 2009 formed in Amsterdam by Lauren Alexander and Ghalia Esrakbi. Originally graphic designers, they - besides presenting unheard voices that offer a different view of history - intend to elucidate how the diverse interrelated regional conflicts in the Middle East are a result of individual western alliances and their colonial legacy. In the exhibition for the 2018 Werkleitz Festival, Foundland Collective is presenting the video installation The New World, Episode One from the year 2017. The work tells the story of the migrants Amer and Sana Khaddaj, who emigrated to the United States in 1947 at the onset of the First Arab-Israeli War. The work traces the couple’s story by means of a wall map and video. The installation is framed by a wall-sized cartographic representation of the stages of their life. The other component of the installation is a video of the same name, which chronologically presents items from the couple’s material and image archive. In the background, animated pictures taken from Google Maps of cities and locations where the two spent time or lived are shown: Alexandria, Cairo, New York, Detroit. Though the story of Amer and Sana Khaddaj is an instance of an individual fate, in Foundland Collective’s work it is made to speak of the general life conditions and experiences of refugees. The abstract quality of global migration becomes tangible.
The New World, Episode One, 2017
map, HD video, 11:00 min