A Crack in the Memory of My Memory
I trespassed through the remnants of my past. Through the layers of time, the ashes and cracks of the walls crumble over me creating wounded walls and wounds inside of me. I feel as though I am walking on bits of my broken heart, collecting and piecing them together as authentically as I can. I’m trapped in my cage of memories, all that I see of my present are mere images of stories my grandparents have passed on to me. Of a city that doesn’t exist anymore. I am lost through my conflicting ideas of my present, trying to adjust yet I’m trapped in a different time that has long been forgotten.
The road is my timeline, my history and my cracked memory. I grew up cocooned and protected by two worlds, two houses and the road connecting them, connecting my past and present. A 120 km road trip I took every week between my father’s home in Mehalla Al Kobra and my mother’s home in Cairo from the age of 5 until young adulthood, stretches as a silent witness and visual documentary as I struggle to find myself. My life was paved along that route. And as a kid exploring and trying to find common grounds in between, I was always wondering where I belonged, where was home. As I moved along the road, my unrecognized longings grew larger than me while chasing my grandparents’ stories, trying to locate myself in a past that was not mine in the memories of their memories.
The road is a constant reminder, a reminder of our individuality, our place and our-selves as we become. It symbolizes the dichotomy between the past and present. As I migrate internally and externally, physically and mentally, outbound and inbound of Cairo, I engage in dialogues informed by my self-doubt and fear yet driven by my instincts towards hope and a vision of a better future. A stream of questions and thoughts erupt inside me: am I living my present or am I just existing? What will my present be? Will it be as glorious as the past’s present? Was the past as glorious as I thought? Is my past my saviour to my present moment and my uncertain future?
Amina Kadous (b.1991) is a visual artist exploring concepts of memory, based in Cairo, Egypt. She believes in the ephemerality of experience. “Nothing lasts. Documentation of experiences, of the objects and moments of the physical world only lasts when it is passed on.” Characterising herself as an explorer of ideas, she is driven by the spirit of inquiry as she seeks to comprehend the meanings and hidden ambiguities of lives, not her own, through the interactive nature of viewer, photographer, object and environment.
Amina has exhibited at numerous spaces internationally and locally. She is the recipient of AFAC documentary program for this year 2020-21. She participated in the twelfth edition of the Bamako Biennale of Photography and was awarded the Centre Soleil d’Afrique Prize for her project ‘A Crack in the Memory of My Memory’. She was recently a recipient of the Jury’s Special Mentions for the sixth edition of LCC Program, and her work is currently on view at MACAAL’s exhibition ‘Welcome Home Vol. II’.