art of resistance

10 Portraits of Female Soccer Players from different Arab countries.

Lia Darjes is a German photographer, living and working in Berlin and Hamburg. She did several great projects, including Konvertieren and I escaped miserable Syria.  This time, however, I wish to present her small series 10 Portraits of female soccer players from different Arab countries.

Here are the photos.









15_10_v2all photos © Lia Darjes

For more of Lia’s work, go to her official website.

art of resistance, Iraq

Electrify Baghdad – Let there be light.

Nedim Kufi is an Iraqi-Dutch visual artist. He was forced to leave  his hometown of Baghdad in 1990 following the chaos of the First Gulf War. He is currently participating in 3D artistic visualization and environmental design for architectural projects in the Netherlands and Germany. He works with mixed media ranging from paper and flowers to earth and ceramics, in order to develop a close relationship between the disciplines of printing, etching, sculpture, and design. With his frequent use of grids in his artwork, Nedim draws on the Islamic tradition of repetition and patterning.

His project Electrify Baghdad (2008) is an amazing video work. Kufi digitally manipulated a Google Earth satellite view of Baghdad at the time of the “Shock and Awe” terror attacks in 2003. During the course of the attack, the city experienced major black-outs as a result of failing electrical systems. The explosions of bombs and missiles looked like brief pulsations of light. We could see that every neighborhood was targeted. The radar scans and military helicopters sweeping across the screen were signs that the city was under military surveillance. Towards the end of the video, as the city descends into total darkness, the artist “relights” the city transforming it into a brilliant tapestry of many points of light. Metaphorically, not only is Baghdad brought out of the darkness but also into the light of the Spirit. Electrify Baghdad is an absolutely beautiful video that communicates the artist’s profound spiritual orientation. And – it brings hope.

asssElectrify Baghdad, Nedim Kufi

Kufi has done some great projects, and I’ll be sure to write more about his work sometime in the future. In the meantime, see more at Iraqi artists in exile (StationMuseum).

art of resistance, Lebanon

Fairuz in records.

I’ve already written about Fairuz, the great Lebanese singer and one of the most admired singers in the Arab world. Fairuz is an icon, and just like in her song Baadak ala bali (You’re still on my mind) – will continue to stay on the minds of her numerous fans.

english translation:

Summer rushed past with appointments
And the air rustled the grape bunches
And we didn’t hear any news about you oh moon
And not a single person waved to us
As the nights came and went
And you’re still on my mind, my mind

arabic original:

مرق الصيف بمواعيدو
والهوي لملم عناقيدو
وما عرفنا خبر
عنك يا قمر
ولاحدا لوحلنا با يدو
وبتطل الليالي وبتروح الليالي
وبعدك على بالي على بالي

So, to honour Fairuz, I’ve gathered a nice collection of her records (in photos). Enjoy.


Fayrouz EH FI AMAL --- -- --- BY ZIAD RAHBANY




For more of Fairuz and her lovely tunes – go to Fairuz YouTube channel.

art of resistance, Israel, Israeli - Palestinian conflict, Palestine

A Child’s View from Gaza – censored drawings.

A Child’s View from Gaza: Palestinian Children’s Art and the Fight Against Censorship is a collection of drawings by children from the Gaza Strip, art that was censored by the Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland, California (in 2011, A Child’s view from Gaza, which is also a traveling exhibition, was to be shown in Oakland, but cancelled at the last moment. Barbara Lubin, the Executive Director of MECA, said then: “We understand all too well the enormous pressure that the museum came under. But who wins? The museum doesn’t win. MECA doesn’t win. The people of the Bay Area don’t win. Our basic constitutional freedom of speech loses. The children in Gaza lose.“)

The art was submitted by Gazan children depicting their lives and experience during the 22-day Israeli attack on Gaza in 2008-2009, during which over 1,100 Palestinians died including hundreds of children.

The drawings featured in A Child’s View from Gaza serve as part of the historical record of the horror inflicted on the Palestinian people during Operation Cast Lead as experienced by Gaza’s children. Photos of the aftermath and the recent efforts by pro-Israel groups to censor the children’s art are also highlighted in the book (the exhibition continues to be postponed or cancelled in some places – like it was postponed in Fredericton, Canada in 2013. “This would appear to have been done by adults certainly not by six year olds, and/or done by children under the direction of adults,” said Israel Unger, a protestor of the exhibit).

Well, I am making sure you get atleast a part of the exhibition virtually – here are some of the drawings.







Picture 4

Picture 5

For more on this book and exhibitions, go to MECA (Middle East Children’s Alliance).


art of resistance, Iran

Shahnameh, The Pop-up Book.

Fictionville Studio has a new project, and it is a unique one!


Riding on the success of their best-selling book, Shahnameh, The Epic of the Persian Kings, they’ve have partnered with paper engineer extraordinaire, Simon Arizpe to create a magical and dynamic new pop up book, based on the art and stories of our Epic Shahnameh. They are creating the very first pop up book based on a traditional Iranian story to delight the imaginations of readers all over the world. The story of Zahhak: The Legend of the Serpent King is destined to kick off this new series of pop up books.

They need a little help with this lovely project, so be sure to check it out and  – share it, spread the news, donate (1 $ can help too).

South Sudan, Sudan

Dinka: The Legendary Cattle Keepers of Sudan.

Thirty years of work on the African continent have carried Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher across 270,000 miles and through remote corners of 40 countries in exploration of more than 150 African cultures. In the process, this team of world-renowned photographers has produced fourteen widely acclaimed books and made four films about traditional Africa. They have been granted unprecedented access to African tribal rites and rituals and continue to be honored worldwide for their powerful photographs documenting the traditional ceremonies of cultures thousands of years old.

The Beckwith-Fisher images are the result of a long, enduring and deeply respectful relationship with African tribal peoples. This, combined with their photographic skills, creates an intimate portrayal of ceremonies long held secret that might have never been recorded. Their work preserves and presents the power, complexity and celebration found within the rituals of African tribal life.

“Through our books and lectures we tell people about Africa’s core values: respect for their elders, the benefit of growing up as part of a community, and the importance of living in harmony with nature and one’s own spirit world.”

Their book  Dinka: Legendary Cattle Keepers of Sudan, was the fruit of a 30-year study documenting the vanishing people in war-torn Sudan. It is a window into the past, present, and future of an extraordinary egalitarian pastoral people, and arguably the greatest cattle keepers of the African continent.  It is a true celebration of one culture.

Here are some of the incredible images.







l_BF084DI_1228349357all photos © Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher

For more of their amazing work and more on this book, go to Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher official website.

Azerbaijan, Turkey

Pipe Dreams: The oil stories from Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.

Rena Effendi is a photographer who keeps on bringing great stories for a decade now. In Pipe Dreams, she  followed an oil pipeline from her native Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey. Along the way she met scores of people and unfulfilled dreams. She spent years taking photos and following the story, and Pipe Dreams developed into a book later on:

A pipe dream is a fantastic hope that is regarded as being impossible to achieve. This book is dedicated to the people of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, linked by the oil pipeline and their fading hopes for a better future. Besides corporate public relations campaigns, little photographic evidence exists about the impact the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline had had on Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. This book portrays life as it is lived, with no commercial or public relations agenda. It ‘un-smiles’ the calendar smiles of corporate propaganda and sheds fresh journalistic light on this geopolitically important region.

90View of Otagli village, 2km of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, Turkey 2007. ©Rena Effendi

awLittle bride. Djandarsky village along the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is predominantly populated by ethnic Azerbaijanis. Some of the residents here complained that they had not received compensation for their land in connection with the pipeline construction. Marneuli, Georgia, 2006. ©Rena Effendi

568Snow in Otagli village, Turkey 2007. ©Rena Effendi

asdIlyas Alban with his family at home in Otagli village. Due to BTC construction, his family’s plot of land was degraded and is expected to recover its fertility only after 12 years. Ilyas applied to local courts against Botash and is still waiting for results. “Before BTC, I had everything. Now my roof is collapsing and I have no money to fix it.” – Ilyas says. ©Rena Effendi

11Children of the Tolstoy street, Mahalla, Baku. Azerbaijan, 2003. ©Rena Effendi

1233sIlyas Alban’s two sons at their dilapidated home, Otagli, Turkey 2007. Mesheti Turk refugee and onion farmer, Meshedi Gara village along the pipeline, Azerbaijan, 2006. ©Rena Effendi

24455Refugee woman at home, Agjabedi, Azerbaijan, 2005. ©Rena Effendi

For more of Effendi’s great work, go to her official website.