SAMAH SHIHADI - BERLIN DIARY
Samah Shihadi - Berlin Diary
In 2023 Samah received an invitation from Jeroen Dijkstra at the Livingstone Gallery in The Hague to take up a three-month residency at the Livingstone Projects studio in Berlin. During this period, she produced a new body of work that unfolded much like a diary. Her earlier memories – the familiar landscapes portraying the land of origin of her grandparents in Mi’ar – were blended with new ones.
The residency prompted a new series capturing the essence of other villages in the Mi’ar region, which had faced destruction in 1948 – Khirbat Jiddah, Al Bassa, and Dair Al-Qassi. The landscapes are recognisable and the ruins offer a reminder of turmoil on once fertile land. There is, however, no overt activism or confrontation here. Instead, Samah opts for a different path – that of empathy and communication.
By not focussing on polarisation but instead making us aware of the beauty of the landscape, of old memories and new memories still to be made, Shihadi takes an important step as a human being and as an artist towards all of us, indifferent to background or religion.
The artwork that concluded her stay in Berlin signifies her approach to art and the position art takes in society. In this drawing she situates herself crossing the bridge which first opened when the Berlin Wall fell, reconnecting East with West. This image radiates hope and trust towards the future.
Werner van den Belt Artistic Director Stedelijk Museum Vianen
Laura Cherrie Beaney Tabari Artspace Art Gallery, Dubai