The solo exhibition by the research-based artist Ala Younis, takes as its starting point her long-term research into the politics and representation of the Aswan High Dam.
Built across the Nile near Aswan in Egypt during the 1960s, the dam was a major nation-building and modernization project of the newly independent state under the leadership of the President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Often described as ‘modern pyramid’, it was pivotal to Egypt’s agricultural growth, industrialization and ensuing social reforms, yet at the cost of flooding the historical land of Nubia. The Nubian population in Egypt and Sudan was faced with resettlement and the ancient Nubian heritage was at risk of permanent loss. The dam also became a site of competing for political and economic interests during the global Cold War, including the 1955 arms deal between Egypt and Czechoslovakia facilitated by the USSR. While the dam was designed by the Soviet engineers, the West financed the relocation of numerous ancient temples, most famously the two temples at Abu Simbel, as a part of the UNESCO International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia.
Ala Younis is a research-based artist trained as an architect and based in Amman, Jordan. Her practice also includes curating, film, editing and publishing. Her projects deal with collective experiences that collapse into personal ones, with how the archive plays on predilections and how its lacunas and mishaps manipulate the imagination. Her work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions internationally, and at the Istanbul and Gwangju Biennials, the New Museum Triennial, and her Plan for Greater Baghdad (2015) premiered in the main exhibition of the 56th Venice Biennale. In 2013, she curated Kuwait’s first national pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale. She is the co-founder of the Kayfa ta publishing initiative, and a member of the Advisory Board of Berlinale’s Forum Expanded and member of the Academy of Arts of the World in Cologne. For more info visit https://alayounis.art.