The first of two MultiWalks in Oslo is by Shwan Dler Qaradaki (born 1977 in Sulamaniyah in Iraqi Kurdistan), a Norwegian artist working in drawing, painting, photography, installation and video. Qaradaki came to Norway as a political refugee at the end of 1999. He is a graduate of Sulamaniyah Institute of Fine Arts , NISS and Arts in Oslo. His art has been purchased by the Art Center of Buskerud and Vestfossen art laboratory. Shwan's art problematises identity in a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural world. As a liberal Muslim with Kurdish background and ten years in Norway behind him, he has made the tension between opportunities, traditions, violations and prejudice into the recurring theme of his art. Here's what he has to say about Between Faces, his contribution to MultiWalks:
"Between Faces enquires into complex sides of todays development in East Oslo; Grønland and Bjørvika. My walk is based on personal impressions and factual descriptions of selected places from Grønland and Bjørvika. I consider the walk as a form of digital cinematic storytelling, consisting of narration, picture material and music. The narration is read by a storyteller, and processed further as a voiceover linked to the picture material. The picture material consists of digital and freehand drawings, photo, video and short animation motions.
Grønland is a district in the inner city of Oslo just east of the center, in an area called Gamle Oslo. Bjørvika is a place between Gamlebyen in the east, Akersneset in the west and Grønland in the north.
What interests me is the meeting point between Grønland and Bjørvika; "The old and the new". and what type of consequences these changes in the area will have for the future of the society. For example, what role does the Akrobat bridge play (a bridge between Grønland and Bjørvika)? Does the bridge knit these two places closer together or are they like a divider between "the new East and the West"?
It is clear that the ongoing changes in the area have consequences for the identity of the place. At the same time the whole area will depend on how we perceive the relationship between East and West, South and North, and that it doesn´t only affect individuals but also whole ethnic groups and cultures. It's these decisions that are influential in deciding the person´s attitude and prioritisation of their identity."
We hope you enjoy Shwan's MultiWalk - let us know what you think. And visit qaradaki.com to find our more about Shwan and his work.