Samah Hijawi

Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

Samah Hijawi is a Ph.D candidate at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium

Chicken Scribbles and the Dove that Looks like a Frog

"My PhD research in Art practice lies at the intersection of art and political histories, and is located in the geographical region around Palestine. For many years I have been tracing the aesthetics of power, and of oppression in art in historical and contemporary artworks from different parts of the world that were made in response to political events related to the occupation and colonization of Palestine, with the intention of re-presenting them in a colonialist framework, and critically reflecting on the forms of these representations. I look at canonical works that are circulated in museums, in history books, and reproduced in public spaces; works produced to celebrate power, and artworks produced by oppressed people as tools for resistance against oppression. Each chapter of the research materializes in lecture performances with collage.

The fellowship will develop the PhD thesis as a subjective book that traces the shifts in aesthetics in art in the Levantine Arab context, alongside a genealogy of political events that have displaced artists from their native contexts. These displacements create rupture in the artistic traditions, in subject matter and in form. As evidence for this idea of rupture, the publication Hiwar Al Fann Al Tashkili (edited by Shakir Hassan Al Said, and published by The Khalid Shoman Foundation in 1996),and the archival materials of artist’s talks recorded on film,will be a main point of inspiration during the fellowship."

--Samah Hijawi, 2019