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NÆARHET, SAID DOKINS NUART FESTIVAL 2018. The message behind the mural

Said Dokins @saidokins NÆRHET, 2018. Stories Of A Word Series. Nuart, Stavanger, Norway. Photo: @leodluna

NÆARHET

STORIES OF A WORD

Said Dokins explores the notions of freedom and belonging with Stavanger's immigrant population, NUART Festival 2018

For this year’s Nuart Festival, Mexican artist Said Dokins created a mural inspired by the experiences of foreigners who have settled in Stavanger, either through choice or necessity.
Said Dokins conducted several interviews with individuals from Johannes Læringsenter –a resource centre for newly arrived immigrants to Stavanger– as well as speaking to Norwegians about their attitudes towards foreigners. Through conversations with people from such diverse backgrounds Dokins explored notions of freedom and belonging. “The idea was to collect the words of individual people and coalesce them into something that represents a shared experience”, explains Dokins.

Said Dokins @saidokins NÆRHET, 2018. Stories Of A Word Series. Nuart, Stavanger, Norway. Photo: @leodluna
Said Dokins @saidokins NÆRHET, 2018. Stories Of A Word Series. Nuart, Stavanger, Norway. Photo: @leodluna

The resulting text ‘NÆARHET’ or ‘proximity’ in English– references how our individual reality is shaped by our environment and how this can be disrupted through displacement and migration. The word ‘nærhet’ is written using the names and words of the people Dokins interviewed during his time in Stavanger and is painted with the artist’s trademark calligraphic style that combines the economy of medieval calligraphy, the energy and expressiveness of Japanese calligraphy, pre-phonetic writing and Pre-Hispanic symbols in one. The background -half red, half blue, meeting in the middle- is a metaphor for the compromise required in order to us all to live in an equal and compassionate society.


Said Dokins @saidokins NÆRHET, 2018. Stories Of A Word Series. Nuart, Stavanger, Norway. Photo: @leodluna

The message behind the mural

This piece intends to be a call to find in the deepest part of our being the invisible line that connects us with each order, in ancient times they called it ‘Pneuma’, the breath, the spirit that links us all together. In the Zapotec culture in Mexico the foreigners were called 'Viusha', which means ‘guest’. Nowadays, the experience of migration doesn’t seem to be welcoming at all: Trump’s foreign policies and his constant menace to shut the border with Mexico, and in turn, Mexican hostile treatment towards our south border, are examples of the obstacles immigrants must face while seeking for a better life.
In this scenario of economic and social fragmentation, racial cleansing, forced disappearances, invented enemies, Status of Exception as strategies to preserve the supposed sovereignty of our countries, what is the meaning being a guest and being a host?
The mural can be found on Nedre Banegate 45 in Badedammen, an area in the east of Stavanger where working class and immigrant populations have traditionally settled.

Said Dokins @saidokins NÆRHET, 2018. Stories Of A Word Series. Nuart, Stavanger, Norway. Photo: @leodluna

Tour around Europe

The Mexican contemporary artist Said Dokins is on an international tour through Spain, France, Italy, Norway, the United States and Colombia, participating in high impact urban art festivals such as Bloop Festival (Ibiza, Spain), Street Art On The Roc (Villars Fontaine, France), Nuart Festival (Stavanger, Norway), Murals in The Market (Detroit, USA), Pictopía (Medellin, Colombia), among others.
In this tour he presents his projects "Stories of a Word" and, in collaboration with the photographer Leonardo Luna, "Heliograpies of Memory". These activities are supported by the National Fund for Culture and the Arts (Fondo Nacional Para la Cultura y las Artes, FONCA) in Mexico.

Said Dokins @saidokins NÆRHET, 2018. Stories Of A Word Series. Nuart, Stavanger, Norway. Photo credit: @leodluna


NUART FESTIVAL 2018 - RE-CAP FILM

SPACE IS THE PLACE                                                                                                                                                             
The 18th edition of Nuart Festival in Stavanger, where international, national and local practitioners from across the spectrum of street art came together for an event that aims to highlight the necessity of contesting public space with acts of autonomous creativity.
 
Site-specific murals, installations, interventions, and temporary exhibitions were supplemented by Nuart Plus - the festival’s satellite program of academic and industry debates, artist presentations, exclusive film screenings, workshops, guided tours and more. This short film documents a selection of the works produced by 26 participating artists over a 7-day period in September.
 
Featuring: AFK Street Art (NO), Alice Pasquini's Art (IT), Carrie Reichardt (UK), Conzo Throb & Ciaran Glöbel (UK), ELKI (UK), Ememem (FR), Ener Konings (NO), Fintan Magee (AU), Helen Bur (UK), Jan Vormann (DE), Jazoo Yang (KR), Martin Whatson (NO), Milu Correch (AR), Missprinted Missprinted (NO), Murmure street (FR), Art Nafir (IR), Nimi Streetart & Rh74 (NO), Nina Ghafari (NO), Nipper John (UK/NO), Octavi Serra (ES), Said Dokins (MX), Skurk (NO), snik (UK), TREF (NO) and VladyArt (IT). Curated by Martyn Reed
Filmed by Doug Gillen for Fifth Wall TV.
 


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WRITTEN ON STONE. Said Dokins visited the antique quarry of Villars Fontaine, see what happened

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Written On Stone

Said Dokins visited the antique quarry of  Villars Fontaine, see what happened

Said Dokins visited the distant town of 108 inhabitants, called Villars Fontaine, located in the South of France nearby Dijon and Nuit Saint George. There is La Karriere, an Interdisciplinary Cultural Centre that fosters several local activities related with the wine culture of the region, that is expanding its horizons to new contemporary art practices, like Street Art, Performance, Sculpture, and Site-Specific Installation, where Street Art on the Roc Festival takes place annually.
Said Dokins  @saidokins, Identity and Difference. Stories of a Word in Villars Fontaine, 2018. Street Art on the Roc, La Karriere, France. Photo: Leonardo Luna.
Dokins participated with his project “Stories of a Word”, with the support of Mexican Government through the National Fund for Culture and Arts (FONCA), in which he involved people from the community and visitors to look into the notions of identity and difference. The artist invited the participants to provide a word referring to their experience in that remote region. One of the words that caught his attention was Khobz, the name of one of the artists who participated in a former edition of the festival and passed away recently, having left a deep mark in La Karriere.
“The idea of creating collective stories in my murals began in Valencia in 2014. It is about creating different levels of interpretation in each intervention, starting with a close relation with the direct participants who have a first-hand knowledge of the mural meaning. They themselves tell the story of the piece, creating a new interpretation towards their listeners and, at last, the interpretation of people who, without any knowledge of how it was done, experience the mural.”
Said Dokins  @saidokins, Identity and Difference. Stories of a Word in Villars Fontaine, 2018. Street Art on the Roc, La Karriere, France. Photo: Leonardo Luna.
La Karriere is located inside a huge quarry of thousands of years old sedimented rock, with a very fine texture, that has been used as raw material for the construction of many buildings in the community and its surroundings and nowadays is considered Cultural Heritage.
Without a doubt, Street Art on the Roc Festival has become an international reference because of its location, the unique qualities of intervention on the plane stone, the diversity of its cultural activities and its vocation of showing Street Art to new audiences, avid to know and explore different artist strategies and narratives.  Nevertheless, the main feature of this festival is the possibility of intervention of such an important heritage site through Street Art, provoking, maybe with no intention, a reflection about the relations between the traditional values of heritage conservation with the new types of cultural heritage.
 
Said Dokins  @saidokins, Identity and Difference. Stories of a Word in Villars Fontaine, 2018. Street Art on the Roc, La Karriere, France. Photo: Leonardo Luna.
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VIDEO: Street Art on the Roc Festival 2018 
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