Sihem Salhi - Algeria

Musée National du Mali

Le temps de mes prières (2015)

Sihem Salhi is a decorated photographer and professional storyteller whose tales frequently recount episodes inspired by her grandmother’s stories and by her native city of Constantine, Algeria. While her storytelling emphasizes Salhi’s dynamic expressions and animated gestures in front of an audience, Le temps de mes prières shows the artist in the quiet solitude of her prayers. For Salhi, this time of prayer is when she directs herself towards divine light and is able to forget the pain she suffers as a result of the neurological disease Charcot-Marie-Tooth. Kneeling on a red prayer rug and framed by ethereal light filtered in through the window’s gauzy curtain, Salhi prays. Her camera captures both the fuzzy traces of her movements and moments of stillness as she alternately sits with her hands resting softly on her knees or holding prayer beads, bends forward to touch her forehead to the ground, and turns the pages of the Qur’an open in front of her. Painterly in its saturated colours, play of light and texture, and careful mise-en-scene, the many photographs that comprise Le temps de mes prières are also cinematic in their serial depiction of movement—a single instance of prayer—un- furling over time. With this work, Salhi offers a poignant meditation on the everyday rituals of faith, both simple and profound, repetitive and singular.

Born in Constantine, Algeria –
Lives in Constantine

Institut Français
Ministère de la Culture de l’Artisanat et du Tourisme du Mali