Conflict Is More Profitable Than Peace Mahjar FLOW

  • Date -
  • Place
    Festivalzentrale: Atelier Augarten
  • Still from the film مهجر--Mahjar, by Alia Ali. 2020-9.jpg Still from the film مهجر--Mahjar, by Alia Ali. 2020-9
  • Still from the film مهجر--Mahjar, by Alia Ali. 2020-2.jpg Still from the film مهجر--Mahjar, by Alia Ali. 2020-2

As an artist, Alia Ali is interested in people, places and processes that both connect and separate us. Against the backdrop of imperialism and colonisation, Ali explores controversial concepts such as identity, nationality and ethnicity.

The video work Conflict Is More Profitable Than Peace focuses on photographs of a ring binder in which, over the years, the artist has collected information on the civil war in her mother country of Yemen. With various pages of the binder laid open, the artist talks objectively and off-camera about her research, for which she gathered a multitude of sources. She evokes her country’s history, quotes statistics, studies and reports, and formulates various questions. Unlike other works by the artist that feature an abun- dance of colour and showcase the beauty of cultures, this video work is fact-based and very sober in both its aesthetics and its narrative structure.

In Mahjar, the second video, the artist leaves the documentary view behind and creates a multi- voiced, atmospherically dense audiovisual collage. “Conflict Is More Profitable Than Peace shows how the world sees us Yemenis, and Mahjar how we see ourselves,” writes the artist. “Mahjar is a film for Yemenis—one in which we, my community, are reminded of our agency, power, and relevance.”

FLOW is a series of sculptural photographs dedicated to fabrics made using the ikat technique. While this dyeing and weaving technique is thought to have originated in Java, Indonesia, ikat fabrics are to be found all over the world and across different cultures. In Indonesia the cloth is considered a sacred fabric, but also the fabric of the rich. Alia Ali draws attention to this extraordinary textile and reflects on the historical and geopolitical implications of its manufacture, also within the context of capitalist appropriation.

Alia Ali

1 Festivalzentrale: Atelier Augarten
Scherzergasse 1A, 1020

Exhibition duration
09 – 27 March 2022
daily 11:00– 19:00

09 March, 17:00