A piece especially created for the exhibit, Skin (Through my eyes) was initially born from what the proximity of the riv- er inspires, from these port- hole-shaped windows evoca- tive of a boat, related to the part played by Saint-Louis and the Senegal River in the histo- ry of slavery. By covering the portholes with a photograph against the light, Sadek Ra- him superimposes landscapes and stories. These views of the bay of Algiers strangely resemble the ones that can be seen through these open- ings. The artist remarks that what we see of Algiers here is probably what the slaves also saw, of which some came from Saint-Louis, sent to one of the largest slave camps of Algeria’s Ottoman era.
At the same time, the artist materializes these words by Achille Mbembe, a Cameroo- nian theoretician of post-colo- nialism, regarding the terrible situation of exiles in the Med- iterranean basin: “The Med- iterranean sea has become like the Atlantic in the 15th century. The Atlantic was a graveyard for countless slaves being transported from Africa to the Americas. The estimated number of slaves who died in the Atlantic is in the millions. A thinker such as Glissant con- structed his entire reflection around this idea of the black Atlantic, as Paul Gilroy and the others would say… So today, it’s the Mediterranean. I think we can speak of a black Med- iterranean.”