Exhibition Review: Bouchra Khalili, CAAC Seville, Spain

Exhibition Review: Bouchra Khalili, CAAC Seville, Spain

On a cold, windy and rainy day in Seville a friend and I ventured to CAAC (Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo) which was further than we had first estimated or that the traffic was so thick we barely moved ten feet in what felt like an hour. At this point of my trip to Seville I wanted to be impressed so far apart from the old city with the cathedral and the Alcazar and anything between Plaza Nueva to San Bernardo – and Torro del Oro, the rest of the city was an architectural eyesore.

When we finally arrived at our destination it felt like we had reached the outskirts of the city at an abandoned monastery (former mosque). Finally, interest peaked we went for the entrance and found a chapel with a large altar and high ceilings. Then a room filled with a collage of the holy virgin. Walking out of the chapel there was a courtyard looking at the restaurant and park on one side and the other a garden. When you look back at the chapel you will see a large figure face and arm coming out of the building. Things are looking up.

I will focus primary on Moroccan artist Bouchra Khalili as CAAC is a large site with plenty to explore as well as multiple exhibitions and rooms to see. Strolling through the site on a rainy day we found shelter in one of the designated spaces and was immediately immersed in the work on display. Being African and a woman of colour I am sensitive to the times we live in especially when concerning migration.

It is amazing as I never grew up with a word for the French who lived in my country like they owned it but since relocating to Europe hearing harmful stereotypes and narratives about others living here. Bouchra Khalili’s work was striking due to the testimonials of the journeys taken by migrants, and how they described their routes, the work they do and the discrimination they suffer. The work exposes geopolitical challenges faced by migration and I found it moving and important to hear these stories. It made me think – I now know the word for those French people – Colonizer.

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