George Gittoes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
George Gittoes
George Gittoes 2.jpg
George Gittoes
Born 1949
Sydney, Australia
Occupation Film director, producer, writer and artist
Years active 1982–present

George Gittoes is an Australian social realist artist and filmmaker.

Early life[edit]

Gittoes was born 1949 in Rockdale, a southern suburb of Sydney, Australia.


George Gittoes has set up mobile studios for three decades, creating works in regions of conflict and upheaval around the world. He has worked in North America, Central America, Europe, the Middle East, the Sub Continent, Far East, Asia Pacific and Africa, creating works in both traditional and digital mediums, still and moving images, within a matrix of cultural interfaces.

For years, he used his drawings to bring awareness to previously unknown landmines in the Middle East.[1]

"Why do I do it? As far as choosing the roads I have travelled, I have this instinct that if I get comfortable, the work will lose its 'sting', so I go out of the comfort zones and into the wilderness to find my art. In the past it was the natural world where predators fed on gentler creatures. In the contemporary context, I go alone into a different kind of human wilderness – Rwanda, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq – not to contemplate nature, but the basics of humanity..."

—George Gittoes

A comprehensive public solo exhibition of his work, Witness to War, appeared at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, Texas, in April 2011.[2]

Gittoes has travelled to many places for his art, including: Nicaragua, the Philippines, Somalia, Sinai, Southern Lebanon, Israel, Gaza, Western Sahara, Cambodia, Laos, Mozambique, South Africa, Congo, Rwanda, Yemen, Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Russia, Europe, UK, Bougainville, Philippines, China, Taiwan, Tibet, Timor, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He often travels to countries experiencing conflict and social upheaval, and uses these experiences extensively in his art.


Throughout 2011 and 2012 Gittoes produced six Pashto language Dramas; Moonlight and Starless Night in Pakistan, and Love City, Talk Show, The Tailor's Story and The Simurgh in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

In late 2011 Gittoes established the Yellow House Jalalabad in the South of Afghanistan. This is a multi disciplinary arts centre similar to the original Yellow House of 1971 in Sydney, in which he participated. It is the base for Buraq films which was established by Gittoes with Afghan filmmakers to produce high quality Pashto language films. The YHJ features a cinema, traveling tent circus, rainbow painting studios, Secret Garden Cafe and Rose Theatre outdoor stages.


Gittoes' service to Australia has been recognised by the award of Member of the Order of Australia (1997) "for service to art and international relations as an artist and photographer portraying the effects on the environment of war, international disasters and heavy industry".[3]

He was also awarded the Centenary Medal (2001) "for service as an internationally renowned artist".[4] He was given an honorary Doctorate in Letters by the University of New South Wales in 2009.


  • Tracks of the Rainbow (1982, director and cinematographer)
  • Las balas de las poetas (1987, director and producer)
  • Soundtrack to War (2005, director and cinematographer)
  • Rampage (2006, director)
  • The Miscreants of Taliwood (2009, director and writer)
  • Love City, Jalalabad (2013, director and writer)[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Strauss, David Levi (July–August 2010). "George Gittoes with David Levi Strauss". The Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved 3/7/12. 
  2. ^ Dillon, Noah (Jul–Aug 2011). "George Gittoes: Witness to a War". The Brooklyn Rail. 
  3. ^ It's an Honour – Member of the Order of Australia
  4. ^ It's an Honour – Centenary Medal
  5. ^

External links[edit]