Fluid Grounds
2023, Digital Photo montage, C-print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta, various sizes

After 132 years of French colonial occupation, Algeria celebrated its independence on July 5, 1962. Algerian independence also marked the official end of the bloody Algerian Revolution, or Algerian War of Independence (1954–1962). Over the summer of 1962, around 800,000 people left the newly independent Algeria, mostly for metropolitan France. These were the European settlers—by then called the pieds-noirs—for whom 1962 continues to represent the moment of profound rupture and the start of their exile from what they perceive to be an Algerian homeland.

Fluid Grounds comes as a reflection on the pieds-noirs’s digital practices of remembrance and contestation of France’s colonial past. One of the strategies that Takriti employs in the work is built on the confrontation of different ideologies in image-text or text-text collages. Using imagery that circulates on the web—particularly, by Instagram accounts and Facebook groups dedicated by the pied-noirs as sites of memory and nostalgia—for example, propaganda posters of the Organisation de l’armée secrète (OAS), which was founded in 1961 to fight Algerian independence and also opposed the increasingly liberal French state. Takriti juxtaposes this with quotes from Frantz Fanon’s Les Damnés de la Terre (The Wretched of the Earth, 1962), which eerily anticipate some of the images circulating on the web. “The afterlife of slavery is not only a political and social problem but an aesthetic one as well,” writes literary scholar and author Saidiya Hartman. “Slavery” can be replaced here by “colonialism.”

Takriti’s work also deals with the question of the representation of colonial crimes and their “return,” disguised as a longing for the “old homeland” in the virtual space of social media. Thus, she constantly asks what can and should be shown, and likewise lends the images as well the possibility of opacity, of non-transparency, whereby precisely not everything can and should be seen.

Fluid Grounds / The settler’s feet are never visible, 2023, Digital photo montage, C-print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta, 100 x 140 cm (39,4 x 55,1 in)

Fluid Grounds / nous aime-t-elle toujours? / Does she still love us?, 2023, Digital photo montage, C-print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta, 50 x 80 cm (19,7 x 31,5 in)

Fluid Grounds, Digital Photo montage, C-print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta,Installation View @Crone Gallery Wien, Photo©Simon Veres, 2023