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Zineb Sedira

Zineb Sedira
Lighthouse in the Sea of Time, 2011

Sedira’s poetic multi-screen film installation centred on two extraordinary lighthouses in Algeria, Cap Caxine, near the capital of Algiers (1868) and Cap Sigli (1906). Both were built by the French during the occupation and are imposing and exquisite historic, architectural and political landmarks. The film includes interviews with the lighthouse keepers, who reminisce about life inside these isolated towers. For Sedira, this work is also a reflection on and return to her family roots.

The Folkestone site, of the former deckchair store, echoes the subject matter of Sedira’s film. A large hall, built into the cliff high above the sea, it has been boarded up for decades and was made accessible to the public for the first time in 2011.

Sedira’s films and photographs originate in a preoccupation with questions of place, identity and memory. Formally they appear indebted to the documentary, yet biographical elements – her upbringing between different cultures (France/Algeria/England) and languages – inform much of her work. Her major film projects – ‘Saphir’ (2006), ‘MiddleSea’ (2008) and ‘Floating Coffins’ (2009) – have all used the sea as a metaphor for separation and fusion.

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