Ahlam Shibli احلام شبلي

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© Ahlam Shibli
Selected Exhibitions

Ahlam Shibli

Born in 1970, in Palestine.

Through a documentary aesthetics, her photographic work addresses the contradictory implications of the notion of home; it deals with the loss of home and the fight against that loss, but also with the restrictions and limitations that the idea of home imposes on individuals and communities marked by repressive identity politics.

Ahlam Shibli's work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions internationally. Her work includes, among others, the following series: Staring (2016–17), photographed in al-Khalil/Hebron, Palestine and Kassel and its surroundings, Germany, examined what is similar and what is different in situations apparently so far apart. Heimat (2016–17) referred to expellees and refugees of German descent, and to so-called guest workers from the Mediterranean region, both of whom migrated to Kassel and the surrounding area as a result of the Second World War. Occupation (2016–17) is based on the destruction of Palestinian livelihoods in al-Khalil/Hebron and the occupied territories by the Israeli colonial regime and the actions of Zionist settlers. Ramallah Archive (2014) pointed to ways of reorganising collective and individual existence encountered in files and photographic negatives found in the Ramallah Municipality Archive, and in the contemporary city. Death (2011–12) showed the efforts of Palestinian society to preserve the presence of those who have lost their lives fighting against the Israeli occupation. Trauma (2008–09) started out from the monuments that commemorate members of the French resistance against the Nazis together with French soldiers who fought in the colonial wars against the colonised peoples who were demanding their own independence. Dom Dziecka. The house starves when you are away (2008) investigated how children in Polish orphanages reconfigure their bodies to create particular communities of their own. Dependence (2007) explored the distribution of bodily strength between the old and the young. Arab al-Sbaih (2007) exposed how the refugees in Jordan are preserving the memory of their homeland by reproducing the social structure of their original villages in Palestine. Eastern LGBT (2004/2006) pictured the bodies of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from Oriental societies as a contested primary home. Trackers (2005) depicted Palestinians of Bedouin descent who are serving as volunteers in the Israeli Army, perhaps to be accepted, to change their identity, to survive, or all of this and more. Goter (2003) addressed the position of the Palestinians of Bedouin descent in the State of Israel: where there is a house there is no home, where there is a home there is no house.


  • "Ahlam Shibli", 77 Magazine, edited by Antonio Zúñiga, ediciones originales, Barcelona, Spain, no. 2, March 2021.
    Ahlam Shibli ha comisariado para 77 Magazine un conjunto de siete fotografías de distintos artistas, entre las cuales incluye, a doble página, una realizada por ella. Estas fotografías muestran aspectos de la pandemia de la COVID en la población palestina. Los artistas seleccionados por Ahlam Shibli son Aref Massalha, Mohamed Harb y Monther Jawabreh, los tres participantes en el proyecto In memory of tomorrow, 2020-2021, de la A. M. Qattan Foundation's ongoing project, en Ramallah, Palestina. [Spanish]
  • Ahlam Shibli. Edited by Yi Soojung and Na Hanbi, texts by Adam Szymczyk and Ahlam Shibli, Youlhwadang Publishers, Paju Bookcity, Korea, 2020. [English edition, Korean edition]
  • Ahlam Shibli: Dependence. Edited by Ulrich Loock, texts by Ahlam Shibli, Ediciones Originales, Barcelona, 2013. [English, Arabic, Spanish]
  • Ahlam Shibli: Phantom Home. Exhibition catalogue, texts by T.J. Demos, Esmail Nashif, and Ahlam Shibli, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Jeu de Paume, Paris, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto and Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2013. [English edition, English-French edition, English-Portuguese edition, online Spanish edition, online Catalan edition]
  • Ahlam Shibli: Go there, Eat the mountain, Write the past. Exhibition catalogue, texts by Mahmoud Abu Hashhash, Ulrich Loock, Sarah A. Rogers, and Ahlam Shibli, Darat al Funun–The Khalid Shoman Foundation, Amman 2011. [English, Arabic]
  • Ahlam Shibli: Trauma. Exhibition catalogue, texts by Ulrich Loock, Adania Shibli, Manée Teyssandier, and Ahlam Shibli, Peuple et Culture Corrèze, Tulle 2010. [English, French]
  • Ahlam Shibli: Trackers. Exhibition catalogue, edited by Adam Szymczyk, texts by John Berger, Jean-François Chevrier, Okwui Enwezor, Rhoda Kanaaneh, Adam Szymczyk, and Ahlam Shibli, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne 2007. [English]
  • Ahlam Shibli: Lost Time. Exhibition catalogue, edited by Jonathan Watkins, texts by John Berger, Kamal Boullata, Ulrich Loock, and Ahlam Shibli, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham 2003. [English]
  • Ahlam Shibli: Goter. Exhibition catalogue, edited and text by Ulrich Loock, Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Nathan Gottesdiener Foundation, Tel Aviv, 2003. [English, Arabic, Hebrew]

  • Solo Exhibitions
    * accompanying publications