Artists – AR Pavilion Venice 2024

SaidAhmed Mohamed Ali

Visual artist, Tunis/Khartoum

SaidAhmed Mohammed Alhassan is a visual artist from Sudan who interweaves his background in engineering with fine art. His talent was first recognized when he clinched the award for the best graduation project at the College of Fine Arts and graduated with first-class honours in 2016. Currently residing in Tunisia, he immerses himself in artistic endeavours through an Artists at Risk (AR)-Residency at ArtVeda. Concurrently, he is pursuing a master's degree in animation at the Institut Supérieur des Beaux-Arts de Tunis. Through his art, SaidAhmed offers a unique lens to observe societal transformations. His portfolio encapsulates a diverse range of mediums and techniques, reflecting his creative versatility.  In 2014, SaidAhmed was awarded the golden prize at the Khartoum Mobile Cinema for an animated WhatsApp film which he designed scenes and illustrated for. In 2017, he showcased his works in a duo exhibition hosted at the Cultural French Center Khartoum. Some of his notable mosaic murals are 'Kordofan Culture' at El Obeid International Airport in 2018 and 'Utopia' at Khartoum in Sudan, sponsored by the Goethe-Institut in 2021. He also participated in the "Art Meets Cultural Politics" project sponsored by the German Foreign Affairs Ministry in 2022 and shared his expertise in mosaic murals at various forums in Tunisia in 2023.

Suvadeep Das

Multi-disciplinary artist, Helsinki/Shillong Meghalaya

Suvadeep Das, a multi-disciplinary artist based in Finland since 2009, holds a Master of Arts in Live Arts and Performance Studies. He has performed at numerous live events in Finland such as LAPSody, Helsinki International Artist Programme (HIAP), Gallery Audusta and Pixelache Festival. Suva was an Immigré Artists (IA)-Resident hosted by Artists at Risk (AR)-Safe Haven Helsinki in 2021.  His creative process combines the body and material through fine arts, music and “bodily writing”, ultimately seeking not only to correlate visual art and performance but also to explore common grounds across differences concerning social, cultural and political issues. As such, the combination of his self-made instrument sculptures and Pyrography pieces focuses on the aesthetics on display while also directing attention to harsh and yet often hidden issues of inequity trapped and perpetuated by border relations.  Suvadeep frequently engages with various sound artists and musicians in collaborative happenings and events.

Fo Sho

Ukrainian-Ethiopian hip-hop trio

Fo Sho is an African-Ukrainian hip-hop project created in early 2019 by three sisters – Betty, Miriam and Siona Endale. They show their unique cultural background in their songs, style and energetic, lively performances. Their music is a symbiosis of modern genres from trap to hip-hop with nods to R'n'B and rock, honouring their rich heritage and traditions. The band is currently preparing to release their debut album.  

Kholod Hawash

Textile artist, Helsinki/Basra

Kholod Hawash is a self-taught textile artist born in 1977 in Basra, Iraq. Her work is inspired by the cultural heritage of her former homeland – the region’s landscapes, symbols and local narratives. Because her husband Saddam Jumaily and others around her were politically persecuted, she initially fled to Jordan before migrating to Finland after arriving as an Artists at Risk (AR)-Resident. With her series of carpet works titled ‘Long Nights’, Hawash draws attention to the oppression of and violence against women in the Middle East. Textiles that traditionally have a relationship to domesticity show images of liberation, protest and freedom from oppression. By incorporating the demand for freedom into an ancient craft method traditionally used by women, Hawash’s art demonstrates a clear feminist message. Hawash has participated in several international exhibitions such as State of the ART(ist) at Ars Electronica 2023 and will be participating in 'Gesamtkunstwerke' in the Nordic Pavilion in 2024.

Saddam Jumaily

Artist, Helsinki/Basra

Saddam Jumaily (b.1974) is a painter and sculptor with a significant following in his home country of Iraq, where he is known for works that use symbolism to address memory and nostalgia. From 1999-2000, Jumaily studied for a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts (Painting) at Basra University College of Fine Arts, Iraq, where he also completed an MA. He later became a respected lecturer at the university, where his perspectives and art were highly valued by his students. In 2010, Jumaily began to receive death threats from religious fundamentalist groups both from within the university and outside of it. He was accused and persecuted for purportedly advocating atheism. He was forced to leave Iraq for Jordan but returned a year later. After several incidents and deaths in his circle, he was forced to flee the country for Amman, Jordan, where he continued his artistic work under highly precarious circumstances. Following their Artists at Risk (AR)-Residencies, Saddam and his wife Kholod Hawash relocated to Finland. Jumaily has showcased his works in numerous international solo and group exhibitions, including the Sharjah Biennale in 2023. Find his full CV on his website. As well as being an accomplished painter, Jumaily is both an editor and writer and has worked for several publications in Iraq, as well as for other Arab-language newspapers and magazines.

Nikita Kravtsov

Artist, Paris/Kyiv

Nikita Kravtsov is a Ukrainian artist who was born in Yalta in 1988. He graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kyiv in 2010 and now lives and works in Paris. Since 2015, he has been collaborating with his partner Camille Sagnes under the name ‘TheTooth&TheRoot’. The duo has conceived numerous exhibitions in France and internationally. Their videos, installations, paintings and embroideries underline the nonsensical fate our society seems to be heading toward.  From the start of the war between Russia and Ukraine, Kravtsov has been very active in intervening on the streets to raise public awareness through murals, stencils, guerrilla advertising and more. In June 2022, he co-organized the highly acclaimed solidarity exhibition ‘Guerre’ at 59Rivoli, curated by Pierre Ponant.

Damian Le Bas

Artist, Gypsyland/Worthing (1963-2017)

Damian Le Bas (b.1963, Sheffield, d.2017, Worthing) established a diverse practice across textile, collage, painting and performance, consistently resisting categorization. After completing an MA at The Royal College of Art, London, he exhibited at various venues including Galerie Kai Dikhas, Berlin (2016), Kunstahalle Kallio, Helsinki (2012), the Venice Biennale (2007), the Prague Biennale (2007), documenta 15, Kassel (2022) and Whitechapel Gallery, London (2023).  Le Bas worked closely with Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin on numerous projects including artwork for a musical titled 'Roma Armee'. He collaborated with his wife Delaine Le Bas to create 'Safe European Home?', a series of installations exhibited across Europe since 2011 that explore identity, migration and borders. Challenging stereotypes and marginalization, he initiated the Roma Biennale, which is dedicated to the art of Gypsy, Roma, Traveller and other communities and came to fruition posthumously in Berlin in 2018. Both Damian and Delaine Le Bas were Artists at Risk (AR)-Residents in Helsinki and participated in the Perpetuum Gypsy/Roma Pavilion in Venice in 2009.

Delaine Le Bas

Artist, The House Of Le Bas Est.1984, Worthing

Delaine Le Bas was born in 1965 in Worthing, United Kingdom. She studied at St Martins School Of Art London and is a cross-disciplinary artist creating installations, performances, text works, photography and film. She was one of the 16 artists who were part of 'Paradise Lost', the first Roma pavilion at Venice Biennale 2007. She worked with her late husband the artist Damian Le Bas on their installations of 'Safe European Home?' (2011-2017) and in 2017 produced the stage artworks and costumes together for 'Roma Armee' at Gorki Berlin. Delaine created 'Romani Embassy' in 2015. Her works were included in the Venice Biennale in 2007, 2017 and 2019, the Gwangju Biennale in 2012, Critical Contemplations at Tate Modern in 2017 and ANTI - Athens Biennale in 2018. In 2019, as part of Futuroma at Venice Biennale, she designed costumes for 'Rewitching Europe' creating a new installation and performance titled 'Witch Hunt III' which included an 8-meter tall 'Goddess' commissioned by Gorki for 4.Berliner Herbstsalon DE-HIEMAITZEIT! Delaine was also one of the artists for 'The Crack Begins Within' at the Berlin Biennale 2020, creating 'St. Sara Kali George', a mixed media installation for 'The Storefront For Dissident Bodies'. One of Delaine’s most recent commissions was for 'Radical Landscapes' for Tate Liverpool in 2022. In 2023, she presented 'The House of Le Bas' at Whitechapel London and 'Incipit Vita Nova' was installed at Secession Vienna, which included a publication produced by Walther and Franz Konig with an essay by Stephen Ellcock. Also in 2023, 'This Is Not Carmen Or Valencia Orange' was performed for 'Popular' at IVAM Valencia curated by Pedro G. Romero and which includes her ongoing installations and performances from 'Witch Hunt'. Delaine is currently working towards a major presentation of her works for Glasgow International in June 2024 at Tramway Glasgow. Her works are part of the public collections of the British Council Collection and MUCEM Marseille. Delaine is represented by Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix, London. Both Delaine and her husband Damian Le Bas were Artists at Risk (AR)-Residents in Helsinki and participated in the Perpetuum Gypsy/Roma Pavillion in Venice in 2009.

Nkoshilathi Moyo

Activist-poet and human rights defender, Zimbabwe

Nkosilathi Emmanuel Moyo is a human rights activist, writer and artist based in the mining town of Kwekwe in central  Zimbabwe. He has had Artists at Risk (AR)-Residencies in Berlin, Helsinki and Ghana.

Moyo uses various forms of art including poems, protest songs and writing to advocate for human rights and the application of the rule of law in Zimbabwe. Born in 1987, Moyo started writing poems at the age of eleven. His first poem, ‘Ndini Mari Ndakumedzai’ (Money the root of all evil) was published by the Makonde Star. He’s since written numerous poems, protest songs and books challenging dictatorship and denouncing systematic human rights violations in Zimbabwe which resulted in political persecution.

He has written two books: 'Robert Mugabe: From Freedom Fighter To The People’s Enemy'(2015) and 'Zimbabwe: A Revolution Waiting To Happen' (2015). He has released an album titled 'Pisarema raNkosilathi' (Psalms of Nkosilathi) a week before the fall of President Robert Mugabe.

His songs were played when Zimbabweans thronged the streets of Harare in November 2017 in protests against Mugabe’s dictatorship. Moyo was recognized internationally after sending Robert Mugabe a prison uniform marked ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ as a present when he turned 92 – and since then, has has become a target of various militia groups in Zimbabwe.

He is the co-founder and Director of the Zimbabwe Organization for Youth In Politics (Z.O.Y.P), a non-partisan youth organization seeking youth participation in electoral processes and citizenship rights defense.

His artistic work seeks to challenge the status quo and condemn Zimbabwe’s oppressive government.

Mirwais Rekab

Film director, Hamburg/Kabul

Mirwais Rekab (b. 1970) is a film director and cameraman from Kabul, Afghanistan. Rekab has worked on numerous film, television and music video projects. His film ‘Kabul Cinema’, won the Ellen Award at the Aspen Film Festival in the USA, received a Special Mention of the Jury at the Hamburg Short Film Festival and was screened at many international festivals. He is the recipient of over 10 international film awards. He was also the first assistant director of the film ‘Osama’ by Siddiq Barmak, which won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film and numerous awards at the Cannes Film Festival. Rekab was also a cameraman to Atiq Rahimi on the film ‘Ash and Earth’, which was selected for the Cannes Film Festival in 2004 and also won an award. After the completion of his baccalaureate in Kabul, Rekab started working at Afghan Films at the National Cinema Institute as an assistant cameraman in 1992 and then worked his way up to cameraman. During these years, a tough civil war destroyed Kabul. Under the Taliban regime when all cinemas were completely banned, Rekab went into exile in Pakistan, where he lived as a refugee and made films for NGOs from 1996 to 2001. Just after the liberation of Kabul, in December 2001, he returned to Afghanistan and began to work at Afghan Films again. In 2003, Rekab established New Wave Cinema Collective intending to bring the school of thought from European new wave cinema to Afghanistan and provide high-quality video and audio services. Following the Taliban takeover in 2021, Rekab again fled from Afghanistan and arrived in Berlin as an Artists at Risk (AR)-Resident. He currently lives in exile in Europe.

Barış Seyitvan

Artist and curator, Berlin/Diyarbakir

Bariş Seyitvan is an independent Kurdish artist and curator from Diyarbakir, Turkey who currently lives in Berlin, Germany. His professional experience spans 20 years of work with arts organizations, individual artists and nonprofits. Seyitvan‘s focus is on contemporary art and migration in the Middle East. His work explores and reflects the trans-national reality of the global Kurdish community.  Seyitvan‘s exhibitions examine subjects that touch on history, ecology, geography and politics, as well as broader cultural themes of language, exile, gender and displacement, which have long dominated the Kurdish experience. He maintains relationships with a large number of Middle Eastern artists living in various parts of the world and organizes exhibitions in various cities globally.  Bariş Seyitvan was an Artists at Risk (AR)-Resident in Helsinki and Berlin. Find out more about his works and curatorial projects on his website.

Issa Touma

Photographer and filmmaker, Aleppo

Issa Touma is a self-taught photographer and film director based in Aleppo, Syria. His work can be found in several international collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and FOMU Museum in Antwerpen. His 2016 film, ‘9 Days - From My Window In Aleppo’ won Best Short Film at the European Film Awards, Best Short Film at the London Film Festival and the Tribute Award at the International Short Film Festival in New York. ‘9 Days - From My Window In Aleppo’ has been screened in over 60 festivals and about 50 cultural events worldwide.  His 2017 film, ‘Greetings from Aleppo’ opened the International Film Festival of Rotterdam (IFFR). It won the DIG Award in Italy in 2017 and the DirectorsNL Award in the Netherlands in 2018. ‘Young in Aleppo’, his latest film, won the Jury Award at the Paris Short Film Awards in 2023. Issa Touma was also a World Press Photo Contest jury member in 2023 and a World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest winner in 2019. Issa Touma was an Artists at Risk (AR) Resident, hosted in cooperation with HIAP at AR-Safe Haven Helsinki. Following his residency, he returned to Aleppo and reopened his gallery, the LePont Gallery for Contemporary Photography.

Aws Zubaïdy

Actor and dancer, Verscio/Bethlehem

Aws Al-Zubaïdy (b.1993) is a Palestinian actor and director currently living in Verscio, Switzerland. Al-Zubaïdy's theatrical journey began in Palestine, where he graduated from the Drama Academy Ramallah/Folkwang University for the Arts in Essen, Germany. To further enrich his skills, Al-Zubaïdy underwent training in acting at the Tunisian National Theater. This experience marked a significant milestone in Al-Zubaïdy's career, contributing to his growth both as an actor and as a director. Al-Zubaïdy's theatrical journey has taken him across borders, with performances and direction in Palestine, Germany, Jordan, Pakistan, Tunisia and Switzerland. His diverse cultural experiences have shaped his artistic sensibility, allowing him to bring a unique perspective to each stage he treads. Currently pursuing a master's degree in theater at the Dimitri Theater Academy in Switzerland, Al-Zubaïdy aspires to create a bridge between theatrical traditions and his new base. Focusing on the exploration and development of physical theater, he sees it as an arena for research and exchange of theatrical experiences. Aws Al-Zubaïdy was an Artists at Risk (AR)-Resident in Tunisia.

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