I am a Palestinian artist who was born and raised in Syria, but the war in that country forced me to flee to the Netherlands in 2014. My art is an exploration of the body, war, diaspora, identity, gender, and belonging. Through my interdisciplinary art practice, I represent my experience as a stateless person. I do not belong to a specific place and time; for me belonging is a dilemma of our existence, a state of emotional and intellectual flux between our human desire for safety and freedom.
I started this painting on the 7th of October when the invasion of Gaza started. As a Palestinian artist, I was moved by the horrific nightmare that the Palestinian people are facing. This artwork references images that were captured by photojournalists who have been documenting the Palestinian struggle over the past several decades.
I wrote a short text to describe my feelings as I worked this painting:
They called us:
“Third world people”
We became just numbers with no stories, no dreams.
The land has become a graveyard.
Those who survived will carry this pain for the rest of their lives.
A collective grief.