Oussama Tabti: Stand-by Fables against war (4)
In Algerian libraries, a sheet of paper glued to the last page of the book indicates the lending and return dates. Tabti has used this material to represent a historical period that is now a taboo in Algerian society. Between 1994 and 1999, there is no record of any book from the Centre Culturel Français d’Alger library being borrowed or returned. These dates coincide with the period in which the library was closed following the victory of radical Islamists in 1994 and the subsequent coup d’état by the Algerian army. These were tragic events that, depending on their point of view, some describe as civil war and others as the years of terrorism. Stand-by shows images of the back pages of forty books that testify to this chronological vacuum in a period remembered as the most violent and brutal since the Algerian War of Independence (1954–62), which led to Algeria gaining its independence from France.