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Filanthropia, Fatima Mazmouz’s New Piece Pays Tribute to African Resistance 

Written by FDM

Photographer Fatima Mazmouz presents her new piece Filanthropia, a totem where the forgotten African resistance is raised. To be discovered until January 2, 2022 at the “Alger Archipel des Libertés” exhibition at the Frac Center-Val de Loire in Orléans.

After the “healing body” around pregnancy, the “broken body” on abortion, the “magical body” on witchcraft, photographer Fatima Mazmouz presents her new piece Filanthropia, the other body of resistance, exhibited at the Frac Center Val de Loire in Orléans as part of the exhibition entitled “Algiers Archipel des Libertés” which addresses the issue of the memory of African struggles.

The exhibition takes Algiers as a starting point, as a land of welcome and resistance networks,” explains the artist. As far as I am concerned, I have focused on the amnesia part of the story that ousted women and their decisive implications in struggles.»

Throughout her research, Fatima Mazmouz is interested in three Algerian resistance fighters, Zohra Drift (the Milk bar attack), Djamila Bouhired, and Djamila Boupacha, whose trial and fight were carried by Simone de Beauvoir and Gisèle Halimi who are also represented on its totem pole. “I wanted a piece that could converse these resistance fighters, create a dialogue between their struggles, their actions, their courage, and grandeur… This is how the idea of the totem came about“, confides the artist. She continues: “I was also interested in Kathleen Cleaver who moved to Algiers in 1969 to found the international branch of the Black Panthère Party there. And I also went to meet other African resistance fighters like Gisèle Rabensahala, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, Bchira ben M’Rad, M’Balia Camara, Marie Sery Kore, Albertina Sizulu Nontsikelelo…
These women all fought for the freedom of their people, mixing racial combat and feminist combat for women’s rights. For Fatima Mazmouz, “  Filanthropia is thus an educational issue of rewriting history by considering these women”.