Waiting for Omar Gatlato: Introduction



myself and Sénac, I became the one to whom he spoke about his loss. I am interested in Algeria first because I am astounded by that loss, by its force, and by its seeming non-relation to the historical record of brutal exploitation by colonial settlers of nearly everyone else in the country. Waiting for Omar Gatlato is then founded on a question first formulated in relation to my grandfather’s perspective on Algeria: Did he and others in his position ever perceive the country they developed such elaborate nostalgia for and with which they thought themselves so intimately involved? This question has evolved into one concerned with the structure of decolonial perception: Can a viewer in New York City in 2019 perceive the effect Algeria has on art and on artists, and through this perception, encounter difference? I don’t mean ethno-cultural difference, but rather a difference in the role of art and in an understanding of its function in a society that is, at least in part, structured according to an African horizon of experience and thought.

Natasha Marie Llorens

Born in 1983 in Marseille. Lives and works between Marseille and New York.

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