The collapse of regimes leaves its mark on our collective memory. The images of defeated dictators, totally vulnerable, have left an indelible mark on our retinas. Benito Mussolini hanging by his feet, Muammar Gaddafi on his knees, Saddam Hussein haggard… With the same aim of annihilating the monstrous power of these tyrants, the Egyptian artist Aalam has chosen to divert photographs of these men from collections (public or private) or the media. What the subjects have in common is that they seem to forget themselves for a moment, breaking with the canons of their official propaganda: Idi Amin Dada in a swimming pool, Adolf Hitler prostrate, staring at the ceiling, Kim Jong-un, his gaze drowning in his plate. Hence the artist’s manipulation: an incongruous association with other shots to create surprising, entertaining and even ridiculous fictional moments, all the more so as they are completed by a caption and copyright rewritten by Aalam.

The title of the series ‘Privaatt’ means ‘Private’ in the language of an imaginary totalitarian state, and this book brings together this collection of illusions.


Text by Maylis de Kerangal
Published in January 2024
English/French edition
24 x 30 cm
80 pages
ISBN: 9782900840177