THE ARAB SEASONS BY BOKJA
tyre(d) (2012) by bokja
Bokja will be presenting new textile works as part of an exhibition at Paris’ Institut du monde arabe, opening on October 10th at 17:30, and running until January 13, 2013. ‘The Arab Seasons by Bokja’ will dissect the evolving Arab identity within the context of the Arab Spring.
Bokja’s ‘Arab Spring’ (2011) is an awakening, referring to the traditional textile forms of the hanging flag or banner. The work’s foundation is a precious antique rug, representing the core values of Arab culture that should be the basis of any new beginning. Like discarded political ideals, the rug is in a dilapidated state and in need of resurrection; yet the designers have embedded a sense of optimism and rejuvenation through a variety of visual icons.
With the flame of Bouazizi in mind, and everything that has happened since, protesters everywhere have been given new life and empowerment. In ‘The Protesters’ (2011), what started with a single protester was quickly multiplied to keep pace with events as they happened in the Arab World but also in Spain, Greece, at Occupy Wall Street and beyond. The result is an homage to every single man and woman who has risked their lives to inspire change, to voice inequality or to better our social order. The dolls will also be on sale in the museum shop, with proceeds supporting the ICMC charity work for displaced people.
In ‘Tyre(d)’ (2012) — a play on words from the English term for being tired — the designers have upholstered stacks of motor tyres in textiles, thus converting objects that would conventionally be burnt in street riots into a voicing of the public’s ongoing fatigue and frustration. The pop-up installation was first shown in Beirut as a peace protest against the burning of tyres, a campaign quickly fuelled by countless responses online and in social media from around the world.