In Palau, photographer Monika Bulaj's solo exhibition dedicated to ethnic minorities at risk

As part of the Islands Talking Festival, photographer Monika Bulaj's solo exhibition, Broken Songlines, runs from September 10 to October 8, 2020.

From Sept. 10 to Oct. 8, 2020, the XXIV edition of the Islands Talking International Festival will host the solo exhibition of photographer Monika Bulaj, titled Broken Songlines, produced with the contribution of Fujifilm and in collaboration with the Polish Institute of Rome.

Fifty-one photographic images will be on display in Palau in the spaces of the Territory Documentation Center: photographs that belong to a larger project on fleeing minorities, nomads, and pilgrims.

In the Middle East and the Caucasus, in Asia and Africa, along the borders of Europe, the richness of complexity is disappearing. The Christians of Pakistan, the Sufi masters of Ethiopia and Iran, the Afghan shamans, the last pagans of the Hindu Kush and the Urals, the Tibetan nomads, the Gnostic sects of the Zagros Mountains: Monika Bulaj is creating an atlas of endangered minorities and shared sacred places, the last oases of encounter between faiths, enclaves besieged by armed fanaticism, lost homelands of today’s fugitives, places where the gods often speak the same lingua franca, and where, behind monotheisms, signs, presences, gestures, dances, glances appear.

“I traveled between spiritual borders,” commented Monika Bulaj, “in the crossroads of forgotten realms, where the faiths and traditions of the weakest and most defenseless sparkle, with their fragile and defenseless resistance, their capacity for dialogue and encounter. On the road with nomads, fleeing minorities, pilgrims, seeking the beautiful even in the most tremendous places. Solidarity in war. Cohabitation between faiths where bombs are placed. The cracks in the theory of the so-called clash of civilizations, where gods seem at war with each other, conjured up by presidents, terrorists and bandits. At the center is the body. Keystone and bone of contention in religions. Initiated and blessed, unveiled and covered, feared and repressed, protected and judged, untouchable and impure, trapped in violence begetting violence, body-reliquary, body-martyr, body-trap, body-bomb. I like to think of the body as a temple. The body that contains the secret of collective memory. The body that does not lie. The sacred passes through the body. It pierces it. In the archaicness of the gestures, we read the arcane wisdom of the people, the quest for liberation through the wise use of the senses.”

Thursday, Sept. 10, 10 p.m.30, on the opening night, there will be a special meeting with the photographer, who will be the protagonist of the multimedia performance Broken Songlines - Three Manuscripts: an impromptu narration in which, on the big screen, with lights and sounds that bring the natural setting of the place to life, stories of love and separations, resistance and escapes, sacred dances and walks, of the silences in the great spaces and masses that sway like seaweed, accompanied by the reportage in action, will flow.

Monika Bulaj is a photographer, reporter, documentary filmmaker and performer, and carries out her research on the boundaries of faiths among ethnic and religious minorities, nomadic peoples and fugitives, in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.

The exhibition Broken Songlines is produced as part of Islands That Speak. International Festival XXIV edition, realized with the contribution MiBACT/DIREZIONE GENERALE SPETTACOLO, Regione Autonoma della Sardegna/Assessorato della pubblica istruzione, beni culturali, informazione, spettacolo e sport, CCIAA di Sassari/Salude & Trigu, Fondazione di Sardegna, Parco Nazionale dell’arcipelago di La Maddalena, Banco di Sardegna, Unione Buddhista Italiana. Under the patronage of EFFE Label 2019-2020, Municipality of Palau, ISRE - Istituto Superiore Regionale Etnografico.

Ph.Credit Monika Bulaj

In Palau, photographer Monika Bulaj's solo exhibition dedicated to ethnic minorities at risk
In Palau, photographer Monika Bulaj's solo exhibition dedicated to ethnic minorities at risk

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