Memories of Grandma's Land
Looking for 4 female storytellers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦
I’m a Japanese female artist coming to Jeddah in November 2023 for this art-film project.
Do you have your precious memory or story relating to some historic or disappeared places in Jeddah?
If yes, please contact me
or whatsapp +33(6)52166844
*Your identity will be protected.
"Memories of Grandma's Land" is an art film project that poetically describes the set of moving images created through memories and stories of places in Jeddah told by Saudi women.
I met Sally, a Saudi painter from Jeddah, during her stay in Paris in Spring 2022. We got along together and I felt a big affinity with her background as artist and women. Through our conversation, I discovered certain similarities in ways of thinking and living between Japan and Saudi Arabia, despite the differences in geographical location, religion and politics. For example, the importance of practicing general gratitude, and hospitality, to appreciating ephemerality and impermanence and in particular, the role of women in society. Family and social pressure to marry, the struggle of women in their 30s and framed expectations about our roles and our future. Sooner or later, again in Paris, I met Zeina, Asmaa and Rouaa, her sister and her Saudi friends. I got a glimpse of contemporary Saudi women. These girls are pursuing their careers in different fields and active in their society as architect, graphic-designer and psychiatrist. I was impressed by their presence and vision of life, which contradicted certain preconceived ideas about this country. All of these Saudi women I met come from Jeddah coincidentally, the more I know, I became intrigued to know more about the city.
Sally also told me about her hometown, which is the country's second largest city. There are several etymologies of this city. The more common account has it that the name is derived from جدة Jaddah, the Arabic word for "grandmother". It thrives as a principal gateway to Mecca, the Muslim pilgrimage site where visitors travel from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. It’s a melting pot of culture and diversity. Jeddah is undergoing rapid development, with new contemporary buildings appearing day by day under the stream of Saudi Vision 2030. The city retains an ancient Al Balad district and their tradition, the Souk Qabil and Al Alawi markets, but many neighborhoods and buildings are being demolished and old Jeddah is disappearing. I'd like to seize links between these places and memories of inhabitants, especially women, from any origin, any social class and any age. Each person has her own memory linked to a place. It reflects their thoughts on the past, the present and even the future. How does she describe her vision of the city and life?
*May 2023, the Allotment Travel Award Grand Prize of Japan was awarded to this project.
Period of stay: 20 November- 18 December 2023 (4 weeks)
Place: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Presentation time: April 2024
Presentation place: Artist run space Rotolux at POUSH (Paris, France)