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A black and white photograph of a black man lying down with a hand on his bare chest and a hand palm up placed on the pillow beside his head.

Black Audio Film Collective

Twilight City

The Douglas Hyde is delighted to present the second of the screenings of Art from the African Diaspora as part of Alice Rekab’s multi-platform project FAMILY LINES, Black Audio Film Collective’s film Twilight City (1989). This seminal film uses a fictional letter from a woman to her mother considering a return to London, to create a framework for historians, activists, and journalists to elaborate their complex relationships to the city, personal memories and historical events. It is a powerful meditation on Lon­don, on being black, on Thatcherism, on exile and on abandonment.

Considering the legacy of Twilight City, Alice Rekab has written a short text to accompany this film. Love me and Don’t Forget me explores the film’s resonance within the artist’s own experience of living in London as a mixed-race Irish migrant and their continued relationship with the emotional and physical geography of the city.

Love me and Don’t Forget me

There is no Sierra Leone High Commission in Dublin.

Coming back to London after so long was a kind of reckoning with memory and geography and time. I had been trapped in a slow time – inconsistent with other times, out of joint with peers – for every year I was away I only healed a week, for every month spent moving in another world a day passed. The hurt got further away and would seem gone only to arrest me touching down again – while taking a train or turning a particular corner. Half memory, half regret. The dream life of a migrant starting out. Building a life. And how the worlds inside and out conspired to stop me in my tracks.

As I walked along the curve of The Oval I remembered how I used to cry all the way home. 

How I’d call my dad and just cry. London you were never habitable but I lived in you for 7 years.

You offered me my first experience of really not being special, of people like me being everywhere, a respite from the isolation of exception that structured and coded the way I grew up and moved in public space in Dublin. I was no longer the only one with a Black dad and I was not the only one with an Irish mum either.

I remember telling my dad I heard Krio on the bus to Peckham, that they sold palm oil and cassava in the corner shop that you could buy ‘pepe’ anywhere.

The walk back there is full of sorrow and is hard to navigate. There is a broken platform leading to the door and a stairway that all the iron work has nearly rotted out of.

You told me as we walked through town that in London the ironworks were all smelted into bullets in the war.

War is part of the landscape, the warrior tomb, the ironless gates, now just standing leaning, pieces of stone. I reached for balance, having leant in that direction for so long, it was something I felt missing from my structure, it was something I was trying to replace. A sea mineral, a shell, a home, loving food, a place to go.

I no longer get to pass the threshold. It’s engraved with spirals and symbols, figures I’m not sure of. I can run my hand along the outside but never understand.

And I still think about coming back to you, a dream of starting over, of you/me somehow being changed.

When I’m underground I can feel the places above me, places that have now been levelled. My old London is razed to the ground, there is a 50,000 square meter hole there now, full of machinery and pools of rain. 

Moving at night along pathways I used to follow like an animal across an open field, worn tracks, not in grass but inside me. Habits. Furrows of grief and furrows of learning- one foot in front of the other for days and days. But when I look into your face you do not recognise me. 

Love me and don’t forget me – as if love could guard against forgetting. 

 

Alice Rekab, November 2021

About Twilight City
About the Artists
Credits

Current Events

Alice Rekab & Éireann and I
Exhibition Opening

Join us for the opening of our forthcoming exhibitions by artist Alice Rekab  alongside Éireann and I, an archive of Black life for black migrants in Ireland, on Thursday 30 June, 6 – 8pm. The Douglas Hyde is delighted to present a newly commissioned solo exhibition by artist Alice Rekab. Through a multidisciplinary practice of film, […]

Upcoming Events

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As part of our Culture Night 2022 programme, Alice Rekab will present a reading of their text Mythlantic Family/Clann Miotlantach. This reading will take place within the gallery activating new perspectives on the work in the exhibition. Booking required. Please complete the booking form from the link in this section.    

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In this workshop, facilitated by Éireann and I, we invite you to share and celebrate your cultural food practices. Our food practices can be a ritual, an act of celebration, and a way to document our family histories. Participants will prepare and bring a dish and a corresponding food story. Using various artistic mediums we […]

Alice Rekab & Éireann and I
Exhibition Opening

Join us for the opening of our forthcoming exhibitions by artist Alice Rekab  alongside Éireann and I, an archive of Black life for black migrants in Ireland, on Thursday 30 June, 6 – 8pm. The Douglas Hyde is delighted to present a newly commissioned solo exhibition by artist Alice Rekab. Through a multidisciplinary practice of film, […]

Diana Bamimeke
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As part of our Response Series The Douglas Hyde is delighted to announce a Writer’s Response where Curator and Writer Diana Bamimeke will respond to the work of Éireann and I and their current exhibition in Gallery 2 as part of The Artist’s Eye programme.  

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We are delighted to announce an In Conversation event where artist Alice Rekab will be joined in conversation by Georgina Jackson, Director at The Douglas Hyde, to discuss the many aspects of Rekab’s FAMILY LINES Project. The conversation will take place on Friday 23 September, 7pm, as part of our Culture Night 2022 Programme at […]

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In this tour, community organiser and poet Rema Hamid will explore the work of Alice Rekab within exhibition Family Lines. Booking required. Please complete the booking form from the link in this section.

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In this tour, artist and Student Forum Member Rachel Heavy will explore the multiple themes addressed by Alice Rekab in their exhibition Family Lines.  Booking required. Please complete the booking form from the link in this section.

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FAMILY LINES Tour

In this tour, Curator and Writer Diana Bamimeke will explore the work of Alice Rekab within exhibition Family Lines. Booking required. Please complete the booking form from the link in this section.

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Writer Reponse

As part of our Response Series The Douglas Hyde is delighted to announce a Writer’s Response where Curator and Writer Cairo Clarke will respond to the work of Alice Rekab and their current exhibition Family Lines.  

Dr. Fernando Sánchez-Migallón Cano
Curator's Tour | The Archive in Contemporary Art

In this tour, our Learning and Engagement Curator, Dr. Fernando Sánchez-Migallón Cano will unfold the notion of ‘the archive’ within Alice Rekab’s exhibition Family Lines. The field of contemporary art is increasingly being enriched by the work of artists whose practice is concerned with archival material. Their work have used, critiqued and re-interpreted existing archives […]

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The Night of Counting the Years

The Douglas Hyde is delighted to present the tenth and final of the screenings of Art from the African Diaspora as part of Alice Rekab’s multi-platform project FAMILY LINES. Aiming to platform the voices of Black artists and artists of colour and to represent intergenerational legacies of self-representation in the production of film, writing and visual […]

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