My land 2
My land, 2, 2009
Duration: 2 mins 52 secs
Courtesy the artist
Anas Al-Shaikh's two-channel work My land, 2 consists of a close-up video of Bahrain's red-and-white flag and another presenting the artist's naked torso with his back to the viewer. As the flag begins to fly and music starts to play, the artist beats time on his face with a series of rhythmic, sharp slaps.
The song 'Al-Efjiri' hails from the time of pearl-diving in the Gulf region. It expresses shared sorrow, pain and suffering but also love and endurance – encouraging divers to work as one and overcome hardships together.
To Al-Shaikh, 'Al-Efjiri' recalls the shared heritage, culture and history of the people of Bahrain at a time when sectarian divisions run deep, and dominate public discourse. This work harnesses collective folk memory in an appeal for unity and resistance to political violence.