This solo exhibition of Olivier Jobard presented in room 2 resonates with the collective exhibition in room 1, The Family Pact. My daughter You will be Swedish is an immersive reportage (photographs and film), which follows the exodus of a Syrian family (Jihane, Ahmad and their three children), who, in 2015, illegally crossed 4000 km, 8 borders and 9 countries in order to reach Sweden.
If you go on holiday to Kos – the Greek island that gave birth to Hippocrates – you will not escape the crossing of the arm of the sea that separates Greece from neighboring Turkey. The ride East will cost you 20 euros. Ahmad and his wife Jihane paid 3000 euros to travel in the opposite direction with their children. It was the price of their clandestinity in 2015. They are Syrians, and lived before the war in Yarmouk, a former Palestinian refugee camp, which became a vast trading suburb of Damascus. Ahmad, born to Palestinian parents, ran a shoe shop and his wife, Jihane, was a translator. Pacifist, Ahmad refused to take up arms. When the Syrian regime began bombing their neighborhood, the family fled to a quiet area to wait for the end of the fighting. It never happened. When Ahmad heard that he was called to fight in Bashar al-Assad’s army, he chose to go for a better future in Europe. In 2015, we were far from imagining that Ahmad, Jihane and their children were the first of the 600,000 migrants to clandestinely join Greece. Their journey of 4000 km, across eight borders and nine countries, lasted 30 days. But the exodus is not just a matter of geography. Once in Sweden, they were caught in the limbo of waiting, where painful memories mingled with the uncertainties of a future in a country different from theirs. Ahmad and Jihane are only at the beginning of a more difficult journey, that of a life to be rebuilt.
Olivier Jobard – Tu seras suédoise, ma fille
October 19 — November 30 2019
19, rue Jean Savidan