Festival of Hope 1 / 27 April 2020

"You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming." Pablo Neruda

Part 2


Gluklya, From the series Dresses of Hope/Healthy Lungs, 2020


ŋûra darmo lesaye 

kaa mbeŋa nûkô kosiken ndâyŋeri mani 

mundilo âmbimrn telagû ganê mînim de mârimbo mindeti. 

kaa mbeŋa nûkô kosiken ndayŋêri mani darnndoka âmbûrse tindagû ganê mînimde malenti miree. 

Janjaweedta darko kûman ila, kaa masaraa darko tîŋû mela, 

kadûr meneŋkoy ndayo dee minde ̂ganê mînîŋam lânô mindeti,

berek mînî elo mâminti meree darnndoka mînim malenti mere.

 ̂Kaa wayawe gim dar lee mîŋa 

kemin̰wo kûmôn elagu dar lee mîŋa 

dar mînê tilo loro tinde kûrnaŋiken mârûmaka mandalni

mârû koo mandalni 

mârîlo arko yande ŋga korom kêbin nditiyek lalaroo jeye

Hope of going back home

My people

If you remember what happened 

wake up 

Let’s go back

God created us to live free, in our homeland 

My people 

If you remember what happened to us wake up 

Darnndoka awaits our return

 Janjaweed  burned our land, we ran away, 

We remember 

We hope to go back home 

No matter how long it takes

We will raise the flag of freedom 

by returning in our home

We left home 

People died 

When we left, children were burning 

Our home is crying 

stand up 


Freedom is like a locust that someone will catch 

And give it to you

Magdi Masaara, Sunrise, 2020, digital collage of two drawings


A good day to be alive 

A good day to be alive 

A good day to be a man and an island 

Feeling the coming of danger 

On every bridge 

Together we built 

Together we crossed 

Together we wired and fired.

Thousands of miles apart 

Yet together 

Cellular technology as a cure to the infectious loneliness

We are the men, we are the islands and gods

A modern Face of Buddha 

A thousand ears to hear the cry of the suffering

A thousand hands to cover our faces in shame 

And only tow eyes 

Too wide open to dream 

A face reflected in the water.

A good day to be alive in the 21st century 

Inside a Salvador Dali painting 

Deformed, enhanced, disordered, surreal

The reality is hard to admit 

The reality is the millions laying in bed 

Turning on the volume 

Listening to the sky in a room 

… Quando sei qui con me

Questa stanza non ha più pareti

Ma alberi, alberi infiniti...

Ramo, Beautiful days Sad times, 2020,digital postcard (External link)


Hura Mirshekari and Mehdi Yarmohammadi. A butterfly is dancing, 2020, fragment

A butterfly is dancing.

A tiny butterfly

Its wings as wide as a village in the Eastern South of Iran.

The village where every single day, the red-eyed storm loses its temper, in the narrow paths between the shrubs.

A tiny butterfly is dancing.

How does time pass for a mother whose child's throat scratches with an incessant cry?

As we continue to watch,

Suddenly a woman in the middle of the room screams:


The space between birth and death is short.

Half the crowd stands up in awe and half rises to criticise.

The tragedy of war and peace is being screened.

In the midst of the technological era,

A butterfly is dancing

A tiny butterfly

Its wings as wide as the garden.

So that the harmony of life continues through the branches of trees.

The sun spreads its love and the flowers kiss repeatedly and deeply.

However, in the limits of the mind of the ruler.

The arms of the flower should be cut and the wings of the butterfly must burn.

The woman repeats,



Gluklya, From the series Dresses of Hope/Healthy Lungs, 2020


Je rêve, je rêve, je rêve d’un monde meilleur

Oú l’homme a une vie de coeur

Avant qu’il meurt

Qu’il apprenne de ses erreurs: 

Que le macon

Celui qui construit des maisons

Puisse mieux gagner

Que celui qui joue au ballon

Que la terre se réveille 

Que les abeilles reviennent

Que la nature devienne plus importante

Que nos paies

Mais la réalité, la réalité

On pense qu’a l’oseille

Détruire, construire

On se sent dur et fort

Mais on a tort

La mort

Ne préviens pas

Lorsqu’elle met

Entre quatre planches 

Ton corps

(English translation)

I dream, how I dream 

Of a better world

Where we would 

Have an inner life 

Before we die

Where we would learn from our mistakes 

Where the bricklayer, the house builder 

Would make 

More money than a soccer player

Where Earth is full, awake and alive

Where the bees are not threatened 

Where nature would matter 

More than our wages

But the truth is 

That we all think 

About destroying and constructing

It makes us feel tough and strong

But we are so wrong 

Because Death

Comes without a warning

And locks you down forever

Translated by Ramo (Omar Thek-Zeroual)


Babi Badalov. Sea You Two More Row, 2020. Peinture sur tissu en lin et laine 155 x 120 cm. Signé et daté au dos. Collection personnelle de Jérôme Poggi.

Babi Badalov was born in Lerik, Azerbaijan. He was one of the prominent members of the Saint Petersburg art scene in the 1990s, but was obliged to leave the city and the country. He currently lives and works in Paris, producing prolifically and exhibiting extensively. He often describes his work as “art poetry” or “visual poetry”. 

Gluklya was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia. She has exhibited worldwide. Her oeuvre speaks of indignation and hope. She makes us attentive to injustice and she proposes playful ways through which people can resist injustice. Her work points to hidden tactics that people might invent, with the help of the artist, to empower themselves and navigate through structures of repression.

Hura Mirshekari and Mehdi Yarmohammadi regularly work and exhibit together. They are also husband and wife. Hura was born in Zarand, Iran. She studied mathematics in Zabol, and painting at the University of Sistan and Baluchestan in Zahedan, where Mehdi was one of her teachers. They had to leave Iran and flee to Europe. They currently live in Paris.

Ramo was born in the south of Casablanca in Morocco and initially studied mathematics. Forced to leave his home for reasons of freedom of expression, he came to France, where he currently lives. His poems were published by New River Press in 2017. He performed in Presence of Mehryl Levisse at Musée des Arts Décoratifs and showed his work at the Musée national de l'histoire de l’immigration in Paris. 

Tony was born in Paris into a family originally from the island of Réunion. He started to write texts stylistically close to the slam tradition in his early teens and continued to experiment with different styles later on. Among his inspirations are Kery James, Joe Dassin, and Jean Genet. 

Magdi Masaara was born near El-Genena, in Western Sudan, and had to leave his home due to the Darfur conflict in 2003. A self-taught artist and song writer, Magdi Masaara travelled through Lybia and Italy before arriving in Calais. He writes in Masalit, which is considered a highly endangered language, since the number and present location of Masalit speakers today is highly uncertain. He currently lives and works in Paris.


Elena Sorokina

Elena Sorokina is curator, writer and art historian, she was curator of the HISK (High Institute of Fine Arts, Belgium) 2017-2018. Between 2015-2017 she was curatorial advisor of documenta 14 in Athens/Kassel. Alumna of the Whitney Museum of American Art ISP in New York, and the Friedrich Wilhelm’s University in Bonn, Germany, she collaborated with numerous institutions and published in catalogs and magazines.