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Nobel Laureate Abdulrazak Gurnah visits students’ installation

The author and Nobel Laureate Abdulrazak Gurnah visited Two Europeans on a Platform last week and experienced the performative installation on-site. Gurnah was pleased to meet the students behind the work and witness the interpretation of his literary work. The photos were taken by Benoît Derrier for Nobel Week Lights 2023.

Two Europeans on a Platform is a performative installation by students at the Royal Institute of Art, inspired by the author Abdulrazak Gurnah, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2021.

The work was presented within the Nobel Week Lights 2023 light festival, held from December 2nd to 11th. With Two Europeans on a Platform, the artists present a collective, pluralistic interpretation of his work in the form of an installation consisting of words, images, sound, performance, and light. Gurnah’s work revolves around migration and provides perspectives on the effects of wars and crises. He reflects on the displaced and altered perspectives of a migrant’s journey between cultures and continents.

The artwork takes the form of a small winter kiosk, glowing with a mysterious light, standing alone on the pier. In the distance from the festive Christmas market on the other side of the water, the kiosk stands out from the others. It shines like a beacon radiating charged memories. It sells the only thing the others do not: light.

The artwork was created by students at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, under the guidance of Ming Wong, Silvia Thomackenstein, and Robert Brečević, in dialogue with Helena Hansson, the translator of Gurnah’s works into Swedish.

Participating artists: Roda Abdalle, Jaana-Kristiina Alakoski, Isolde Bergqvist, Neil Bhat, and Aron Fogelström.

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