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Leila Alaoui: Rite of Passage

Thu 8 October @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Leila Alaoui: Rite of Passage
The Charles Russell Speechlys Terrace Room Series
Exhibition presented by Somerset House and 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair
(Strand, London WC2R 1LA)
Thursday 8th October 6pm – 8pm

Image: Leila Alaoui, No Pasara, 2008. Courtesy Fondation Leila Alaoui & Galleria Continua.

Message from Somerset House:

This October, Somerset House is proud to present Leila Alaoui: Rite of Passage, the first major UK retrospective of works from the celebrated French-Moroccan photographer, video artist and activist Leila Alaoui. Acclaimed for capturing and persevering the unseen stories of individuals and communities displaced by conflict and unrest, Rite of Passage offers an intimate portrait into the rich cultural identities and resilience of societies facing difficult and uncertain realities. We’re opening the exhibition to coincide with the contemporary African art fair 1-54.

Although we’re not able to have a private view, we would be delighted if you would like to come and see the exhibition on the opening day of 1-54. We have held back an allocation of tickets from 6pm – 8pm on the evening of Thursday 8th October and if you would like to book, please email admin@britishmoroccansociety.org to reserve your ticket.

Our restaurant Spring has reopened and if you let us know you’re booking a table on 8th October, they’ll arrange a welcome drink. Please call them on 020 3011 0115 or reserve a table online.
To listen to an interview with Leila, click here.
Leila Alaoui: Rite of Passage
Acclaimed for capturing the unseen stories of individuals and communities displaced by conflict and unrest, Alaoui’s photography offers an intimate portrait into the rich cultural identities and resilience of societies facing uncertain realities. The subjects of Alaoui’s works are pictured across the contemporary Mediterranean-landscape and beyond, from Syrian refugees fleeing civil war in Lebanon to young North Africans seeking an alternative future in Europe.
In 2016, whilst working on a women’s rights campaign with Amnesty International, Alaoui was caught in gunfire during a terrorist attack in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and three days later died of her wounds. Honouring Alaoui’s photographic practice, the exhibition includes three of Alaoui’s defining series of works – Les Marocains, No Pasara and Natreen, as well as Alaoui’s final unfinished video work L’Île du Diable (Devil’s Island), exploring the lives of a 1960s generation of dispossessed migrant workers in France.
Showing great sensitivity towards her subjects, Alaoui’s images are both informed yet artistic, giving a human face to the people who often become lost and misrepresented behind waves of news coverage and statistics.