Meggy Rustamova - Bang [Ding Dong]




Meggy Rust

At FOMU’s invitation, Meggy Rustamova (°1985, Georgia) created her new video artwork Bang [Ding Dong]. The film tells the story of a group of children learning to speak Dutch.

Rustamova used her own memories of being an eight-year-old refugee arriving in Europe. Like many newcomers, she struggled with the word “bang” (“afraid”). She practised pronouncing it using similar sounds: Ding Dong! Bang Bang! The sort of sounds you hear in cartoons.

Working with young refugees, Rustamova posed the question: what does the word “afraid” mean today? What are the children afraid of? Is it acceptable to frighten children in order to keep them safe? But what if this turns into fear of “the other”? How fearful is our culture, anyway?

Bang [Ding Dong] is a short film of pared-down elements: Rustamova’s own class photograph from the early 1990s; her visits to the asylum seekers’ centre; and the photographs of their surroundings that the children made themselves. With great sensitivity, Rustamova employs photography, film and language to shed light on the daily experiences of young refugees.

This work was made possible through the support of FOMU and Flanders State of the Art

FOMU grant

In 2023, FOMU is awarding grants to Maryan Sayd, Meggy Rustamova and Nick Geboers. To make the selection, FOMU asks players from a broad cultural spectrum to nominate artists. This year, we partnered with VICE and WIELS.

The FOMU Grant creates a fertile ground for photographers based in Flanders to further their artistic careers. It consists of a commission for new work, a presentation in the museum, and the purchase of the work for the collection.

Meggy Rustamova

Meggy Rustamova was born in 1985 in Tbilisi, Georgia, and lives and works in Brussels and Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. She studied at KASK, Ghent, and the Universität der Künste, Berlin, followed by a postgraduate course at HISK, Ghent. She is one of the founders of the Brussels artist collective Messidor.

Meggy Rustamova works in the fields of photography, video installation and performance. Her practice is characterised by its poetic approach to the relationship between individual and collective memory and, in the same vein, between language as a communication means and language as a visual vocabulary. Rustamova looks for ways to artistically interpret contemporary social trends and issues. Using image and text, she tells her stories associatively as she explores the borderline between fact and fiction.

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Meggy Rustamova, portret door Alexey Shlyk, 2022 ©️ Alexey Shlyk / FOMU