Boutheyna Bouslama

When she arrived in Geneva to study visual arts while working as a lecturer at the Beaux-Arts school, Boutheyna Bouslama quickly faced the limits imposed on her by her status as an extra-European worker.

During a study trip that was bound for the city of Bucharest, she was turned away at the border while the rest of the group was able to continue its journey. She made on the spot the film Mama Habibti. In it she fictionally corresponds with her mother and offers up her feelings before the injustice of the situation.

For the screening of her film in Geneva in 2012, she distributed in the city a copy of her residence permit on which she had printed an impossible discussion with the Cantonal Office of Population and Migrations (OCPM) on her status as an artist.

In 2014, Bouslama was ordered to leave the country by the OCPM, after years of fighting to have her status recognized by Switzerland. Just before complying, she made Trittico Nights, a first-person narrative of the last moments she spent in Geneva. In various apartments, through public squares, surrounded by anonymous or indifferent crowds, the artist reveals the innumerable nuances of her fears and joys borne along by a city that is by turns dreamlike, violent, and familiar.