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Exhibition "The warrior myth: Agents for peace"

Curated by Zahra Mammadova

DIV installation (2019) by Shalala Salamzadeh plays deals with the contradicting ideas of chaos and harmony. The artist examines the history of Azerbaijan starting from the Digital Age while emphasizing the careless, ordinary life of the people, without reflecting on anything, before all the harsh changes in the system, critical situations, and wars took place. The video contains materials from personal archives of people from the occupied territories, television programs in a matter of hours and days before national tragedies. The whole concept passes through an analogy with a div (ogre), a character from Azerbaijani fairy tales, who has always been a key figure, the culmination of a fairy tale and it was represented as an image of all the evil happening in history.

Tural Rahmanli
THE PUBLIC BATH photo series (2018)
It like a slap, piercing your nose as soon as you enter. It is a heavy and muggy smell that 11 families, living in a former public bath, have been struggling every day with for decades. The bath #59 in Lokbatan's Puta settlement, a suburb of the capital, is home to about 60 people hailing from various Nagorno Karabakh villages — Fuzuli, Aghdam, Gubadli, and Lachin. There are three generations in total, with children who were born in displacement, only knowing the crammed concrete rooms of the hammam. There is a sewage pipe sneaking across the rooms.

Zahra Mammadova (b. 1998, Baku) is a curatorial assistant at YARAT Contemporary Art Space. In 2019, she graduated from Azerbaijan University of Languages with a research focus on "Formation of lingua-cultural competencies in the process of learning the history of the English language". She participated in the research teams of such shows as “Fragile Frontiers: Visions on Iran’s in/visible borders” (2019- 2020), “Baku Speaking: 1900s-1940s” (2020) She is currently a contributor to the newly established creative critique and art platform "Chagdashchilar".