artist
Adnan Yahya

Jordan 1960 (Palestinian). Lives and works in Amman.

"... "By combining a number of visual forms throughout the years, all fused in one human crucible, I sought to represent the anxiety of humankind. We see human beings with their perennial visions unchanged, with the same age-old questions and the same old corrupt, despotic and powerful faces, the power of men to destroy each other's freedom. In a time of loss, a painting becomes not just a shape or a colour but existence itself. The tragedy of Sabra and Shatila acted as a vast mirror, as huge as the universe itself, condemning an ideology which entails the killing of others. Sabra and Shatila represent a confrontation with this mirror. It is a memory at which memory fails. It is the darkest and cruelest grief since the Palestinian tragedy began.

This context allows us to examine human contradictions and to try and abolish distances, and so we depict the epic in order to express a story of the human race proving its strength in confronting life in all its cruel complications. The spirit has its own nourishment, as does the mind. Cultural heritage is a living being which pulsates and breathes, rages and grieves. When we penetrate into other human beings to find the vestiges of the cultural heritage with which we seek perfection in the struggle against our souls, and when we re-enter past time in order to decipher it again, then we will find human thought as its most magnificent, deep in its significance, boldly disputatious and with no equal in either East or West.

What matters, in the end, is the conflict between Art and Life, with all its contradictions, the need to develop the capacity to ask questions, the will to confront the future, and to look into the depths of the human condition."...

- Adnan Yahya
Adnan Yahya - From Sabra and Shatila ... to Independence? 1982 - 1999, published by Darat al Funun - The Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation, 1999