Talks & Events
Talk, Exhibition Tour

Wednesday Walkthrough: Hamid Zénati with Sheyda Aisha Khaymaz

24 Jul 2024 1-2pm

Nottingham Contemporary
Nottingham NG1 2GB


Diasporic Imaginations in Algerian Art: From Aouchem to Zénati

Join us for a Wednesday Walkthrough – a gallery tour where artists, experts, researchers and academics give short talks in their field of expertise relating to the concepts explored in our exhibitions.

In Galleries 3 & 4 we are currently presenting the second-ever institutional exhibition of Algerian- German artist Hamid Zénati (b.1944, Algeria; d.2022, Germany) following his solo debut at Haus der Kunst, Munich. Celebrating Zénati's nearly sixty-year career, this major survey casts him as an inventive, free thinker and artist of his time.

This walkthrough will introduce the visual milieu of post-independence Algeria through a comparative lens on Zénati and the artist group Aouchem. Algeria's history under French occupation and subsequent political turmoil, including the War for Independence of the 1960s and The Civil War of the 1990s, forced many native artists to seek refuge in European cities, which, in turn, informed their artistic expressions.

Both Aouchem artists and Zénati employed motifs, signs, and colours derived from Amazigh and Algerian visual traditions in distinctive ways. Their oeuvre reflects a deep engagement with these elements, utilising them to express cultural identity and attachment to their homeland despite their displacement. This walkthrough invites participants to think about Zénati’s work in tandem with Aouchem’s use of symbols, situating both within the broader context of modern Algerian art and illustrating the mechanisms by which diasporic aesthetic languages are formed.

Sheyda Aisha Khaymaz is an artist, curator, and PhD candidate in Art History at The University of Texas at Austin, specializing in modern and contemporary art from the north of Africa. Their doctoral dissertation, Indigenous Presentness: Translocal Politics of Amazigh Art and Resistance, focuses on the manifold expressions of indigeneity and Indigenous philosophies in art and explores the nexus between Amazigh artistic expression and sovereignty movements across the Indigenous territories known as Tamazgha.

Khaymaz is the 2023 recipient of the Rhonda A. Saad Prize for Best Paper in Modern and Contemporary Arab Art, awarded by the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey (AMCA), and the 2022 Mark Tessler Graduate Student Prize Award, awarded for the best paper by the American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS). In 2023, they completed a curatorial research fellowship at the Modern and Contemporary Art Department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and were awarded a curatorial residency at Tate Modern, London, in 2024.


This event will be held in the Galleries. Meet at Reception.

Speakers will use microphones.

This event is wheelchair accessible.

If you have any questions around access or have specific access requirements we can accommodate, please get in touch with us by emailing [email protected] or phoning 0115 948 9750.

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