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Palestinian Artists to Follow and Amplify

Pop Culture

Sat, March 09

Palestine, the land in which olive trees bloom, is home to many successful artists who celebrate their heritage and roots. Art is a powerful form of celebration of one's identity and roots, as well as a form of resistance and resilience. With Palestine's rich culture and history, I bring to you 10 extraordinary Palestinian artists, each responding to the ongoing illegal occupation of Palestinian land with a creative, unique voice through art.

Image Credit: The Camp by Alaa Albaba

Born in 1985, Alaa Albaba has emerged from Palestine to become a global recognition as a standout contemporary artist. He graduated from the Visual Arts Forum and obtained a degree from the International Academy of Contemporary Art Palestine in 2015.

Albaba focuses on socio-political themes when it comes to his art. His notable exhibitions include "Pixelated Spaces," "Facility," and “The Camp,” alongside his recent collaboration at the Ramallah Art Fair in 2021.

Image Credit: غذاء الفلسطيني الحُر (The Free Palestinian's Food) by Yazan Abo-salamah

Yazan Abo-salamah, born in 1993, is a daring Palestinian artist known to incorporate nontraditional materials into his art pieces. His journey started at Dar Al-Kalima College in Bethlehem in 2011, studying Fine Arts. He then went on to teach at the Aidya Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, and several other community centers.

Abo-salamah uses a range of materials such as concrete, pebbles (look at his art above), wires, and Lego blocks. His art intricately showcases Palestinian houses and captures childhood memories.

Image Credit: Shelter by Malak Mattar

A visual artist whose roots stem from Gaza, Malak Mattar took her artistic talents and used them to weave paintings that portray Palestinian agony. One notable piece, titled Shelter, vividly illustrates the struggle for survival during multiple assaults in Gaza, where families lacked shelter and clung together. Mattar's style of art, expressionism, has attracted international attention, displayed in over 80 countries.

Image Credit: From the river to the sea (من النهر إلى البحر) by Sliman Mansour

Sliman Mansour is a well-known Palestinian artist, renowned for his impactful paintings, which skillfully showcase the beauty of Palestinian culture. His art stands as a wellspring of inspiration and pride for Palestinians around the world, portraying not only daily life but also the steadfast resistance against Israeli Occupation.

Image Credit: Rajieen (راجعين) by exklusive.music

Omar Rammal is a talented young Palestinian director, and his best-known work is contributing to the music video Rajieen, featuring 25 MENA artists who lent their voices in protest against the Israeli occupation. Omar Rammal has also produced several short films such as, “Hajez,” “The place,” and “Fatimah.” Each of these films carries emotional depth, storytelling, and a strong sense of determination.

Image Credit: Ghost Collection courtesy of the Corning Museum of Glass

Dima Srouji, a Palestinian architect and visual artist, is known for employing mediums like glass, text, archives, maps, plaster casts, and film. Her art is brought to life by collaborating with many archaeologists, anthropologists, sound designers, and glass artisans. Each crafted piece bears a distinct focus on Palestine, reflecting the essence of cultural exploration and expression within her work.

Image Credit: Wave courtesy of the Saleh Barakat Gallery

At just the age of 15, Abdul Rahmna Katanani, a third-generation Palestinian refugee, expressed his emotions through cartons. He went on to study at the School of Fine Arts in Beirut, distinctive in his approach towards art by using barbed wire and iron to deliver his political views. One of his most famous works named Wave, is a sculpture made out of barbed wire. This artwork symbolizes the overwhelming force of displacement and suffering experienced by Palestinians, comparing it to a tsunami, hence the name.

Image Credit: her seeds are in the ground (بذورها في الأرض) by Reem R.

Reem R., born in 1995, is a Palestinian visual artist known for her work influenced by her daily life. She expertly integrates unique symbolism with culture, creating visual puzzles that invite audiences to interpret them however they like. Her art has been shown all over the world, including Qatar, the UAE, Croatia, France, Morocco, South Africa, and Spain.

Image Credit: Good bye (Welcome) to Gaza by Bayan Abu Nahla

Finally, there is Bayan Abu Nahla, a Gaza-based artist whose work thoroughly captures the emotions of numerous individuals. Her emphasis lies in creating meaningful and intriguing art pieces, as seen in the artwork above, which carries the message "Good bye (Welcome) to Gaza."

Image Credit: Ian Hutchinson from Unsplash

These artists have taken matters into their own hands and demonstrated remarkable resilience in the face of Israelis. Now, it's your opportunity to make a difference—start by following and supporting them, extending assistance (donation, protest, etc) to those in need in Palestine, spreading awareness across the media, and gaining a deeper understanding of the ongoing settler colonialism imposed by the Israelis in Palestine.

Alanoud A
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Writer since Feb, 2024 · 3 published articles

Alanoud is a high school junior Involved in various clubs around the school and has taken the initiative to co-create several others such as the book club. Enjoys STEM subjects, chess, writing, reading, and photography.