In Nice, two artists who had to flee Iran and Syria exhibit their tortured works

The exhibition is titled Shadows of men. It is the fruit of two artistic expressions which, each in their own way, tell a painful story. The Depardieu gallery in Nice brings together the works of two artists, the Syrian Najah Albukai and the Iranian Alireza Shojaian, in an exhibition concocted by Muriel Mayette-Holtz, the new director of the National Theater of Nice. The works show these homosexual men who still risk the death penalty in Iran, and these men who languish by the thousands in the power jails of Damascus in Syria, awaiting only death for some.

This exhibition is the story of two artists who testify in their works to this suffering and their journeys. Alireza Shojaian exhibits naked men. Something totally unthinkable in his country, Iran. A country he had to flee to avoid capital punishment. Homosexuality in Iran being a crime punishable by death: “We have to fight. I suffered from not being able to assert my identity in my own country. I try to address this subject in my work“.

Najah Albukai him, spent months locked in the jails of the Syrian power. His drawings plunge us into the darkness of the dungeons of Damascus where emaciated silhouettes are piled up: “Since my release from prison, I really wanted to testify about what I lived, and so that it is engraved in the memories. That what I saw is not forgotten“A past, an experience, as painful as they are, which haunt the work of these two artists but which at the same time makes them progress.

“Shadows of men” exhibition – Depardieu Gallery, 6, rue du doctor Jacques Guidoni 06000 Nice – From Monday to Saturday from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., until April 3, 2021 – Free admission.

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