Located in one of France’s youngest and poorest regions, the city of Roubaix also is called home by a mix of immigrant populations from the global south who integrated into a vastly different culture than the one from which they came. Street Artist YZ has made women from these cultures the center stage of her large wheat-pasted portraits for about a decade, and we have published her campaigns of solid pillars of their communities several times.
In recognition of her participation in the women-centered exhibition URBAIN.ES here, curated by Magda Danysz, YZ says she conducted interviews of her subjects from Kabul, Vietnam, Tunisia, Cameron, and the Ivory Coast before creating their large-scale portraits. She says she considers her work as that of a documentarian. She says it’s a complex mix of conforming to the new culture and desiring to honor the traditions and habits of the old one. What has she learned, aside from the immigrant stereotypes of Roubaix that outsiders sometimes have about them?
“This is of particular importance when questioning identity issues in a country where the insistence on integration often prioritizes the cultural ‘smoothing’ over cultural identity,” she says.
Here are a few selections from YZ’s installations from her ongoing project “Empress,” which “explores the cultural diversity of different communities throughout the world, questioning ideas of consumerism and conformity.”
Click HERE to read our previous article about this exhibition.
Exposition collective sous le commissariat de Magda Danysz
Group Show curated by Magda Danysz
Du 31 mars au 24 Juillet 2022
From March 31st to July 24th, 2022
Click HERE for more information and a complete preview of the artworks.
La Condition Publique, Roubaix, France
More about Roubaix: The Banlieue Project