At FOMU’s invitation, Meggy Rustamova (°1985, Georgia) created her new video artwork Bang [Ding Dong]. The film tells the story of a group of children learning to speak Dutch.
Rustamova used her own memories of being an eight-year-old refugee arriving in Europe. Like many newcomers, she struggled with the word “bang” (“afraid”). She practised pronouncing it using similar sounds: Ding Dong! Bang Bang! The sort of sounds you hear in cartoons.
Working with young refugees, Rustamova posed the question: what does the word “afraid” mean today? What are the children afraid of? Is it acceptable to frighten children in order to keep them safe? But what if this turns into fear of “the other”? How fearful is our culture, anyway?
Bang [Ding Dong] is a short film of pared-down elements: Rustamova’s own class photograph from the early 1990s; her visits to the asylum seekers’ centre; and the photographs of their surroundings that the children made themselves. With great sensitivity, Rustamova employs photography, film and language to shed light on the daily experiences of young refugees.
This work was made possible through the support of FOMU and Flanders State of the Art
This year, FOMU is awarding grants to Maryan Sayd, Meggy Rustamova and Nick Geboers. The selection was carried out in collaboration with VICE and WIELS. The FOMU Grant consists of a commission for new work, a presentation in the museum, and the purchase of the work for the collection.
The FOMU Grant creates a fertile ground for art photography in Flanders, supports photographers’ careers and stimulates dynamism and innovation in the field. At the same time, FOMU benefits from having its own points of view challenged, resulting in a greater diversity of perspectives in both its exhibitions and the permanent collection.
Artists: Meggy Rustamova