Sama Raena Alshaibi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Sama Raena Alshaibi سما الشيبي (born 1973 in Basra, Iraq) to an Iraqi father and Palestinian mother.[1] She is a conceptual artist (video art, photography and media installation), in which she often deals with spaces of conflict as her primary subject. War, exile, power and the quest for survival are themes often seen in her works. She often uses her own body in her artwork, as a representation of the country or issue she is dealing with. Her mother and her grandparents were relocated to Iraq at around 60 years ago, as a result of the 1948 Palestinian exodus, after meeting her father; Alshaibi and her siblings and parents left Basra in 1981. Her story of leaving Iraq is told in her film Goodbye to the Weapon and "Where The Birds Fly".

She was raised between the Middle East and United States of America, where she attended high school at Iowa City High School, in Iowa CIty Iowa. She studied photography at Columbia College in Chicago, and received her MFA at University of Colorado at Boulder, in 2005.[2] She has exhibited extensively throughout the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East since 2003. Her solo exhibitions include London, Dubai, Guatemala City, Jerusalem and Ramallah. Her works are exhibited internationally, including the 55th Venice Biennale.[3]

"Sama Alshaibi once again presents us with that frequent solitude of a common presence. Brushing away her forwarding movements, along with those that precede her initial markings, she could not have established a more fundamental wealth to the existence of mankind; without exposing all of man, without devouring all of man’s land, without occupying all of his nothingness only to realize that history was being deleted only for its repetition and not for its significance of veracity. She was sweeping away her past, and journeying over the deleted traces with a brush of unfulfilled promises." [4]

"Alshaibi’s confident figures not only express a sense of fortitude—they recall a distinct imagery found in post-Nakba Palestinian art and visual culture in which portrayals of women are iconic signifiers of a people’s tenacity. In paintings and illustrations by influential Palestinian artists Suleiman Mansour, Ismail Shammout, and Abdul Rahman al Muzayen, the female image is depicted as the embodiment of sumoud. Today we find a new generation of artists continuing and reinventing this tradition in a multitude of mediums."[5]

Art Projects[edit]

  • Silsila, 2013, video art and installation
  • The Tethered, 2012, video art
  • Flight, 2012, video art
  • vs Him, 2011 (solo exhibition at Lawrie Shabibi Gallery multi media including
  • vs. The Empire from vs. Him, 2011, projection on canvas with sound.
  • vs. The Father from vs. Him, 2011, video art
  • vs. The Brother from vs. Him, 2011, video art
  • vs. The Son from vs. Him, 2011, video art
  • Thowra (Revolution), 2011 video art
  • Warhead, photography, 2010
  • Negative's Capable Hands, photography 2010
  • Tariqah, 2010, video art, floating video in black glass box
  • Ilham, 2010, video art, floating video in black glass box
  • Absence/Presence from Baghdadi Mem/Wars, Video Art in collaboration with Dena Al-Adeeb, 2010
  • Efface/Remain from Baghdadi Mem/Wars, 2010 Video Art in collaboration with Dena Al-Adeeb
  • Still/Chaos from Baghdadi Mem/Wars, 2010, Video Art in collaboration with Dena Al-Adeeb
  • End of September, 2010, 16 minutes, dramatic narrative short, co-written and directed with Ala' Younis.
  • Chicken, 2009,experimental video art
  • Sissy, 2010, experimental video art
  • Sweep, 2009 experimental video art
  • The Rivers, 2009, 58 minutes, documentary about Iraqi Refugees in Jordan
  • The Bride Wears Orange (2009-video)
  • Between Two Rivers (2008-photography)
  • And Other Interruptions (2007–2008, photography)
  • All I Want For Christmas (2007-video)
  • Birthright (2005-photography)
  • In This Garden (Photography 2006)
  • Where the Birds Fly (2008-video)
  • Birthright (2004–2005)
  • Zaman: I Remember (2002–2004)


Received her BA in Photography at Columbia College Chicago and her Masters of Fine Arts (Photography, Video and New Media) at University of Colorado at Boulder. She is an Associate Professor of Photography at University of Arizona. She served as an elected member of the National Board of Directors for Society For Photographic Education (2009-2013).[6] She was the co-founder of the feminist collective 6+ before leaving in 2009.[7] Alshaibi represented the United States of America as the U.S. Department of State Arts Envoy to the UAE from May 21–30, 2012.[8]


  1. ^ "Sama:Bio". Archived from the original on 2007-08-20. Retrieved 2007-08-23. 
  2. ^ Proctor, Rebecca Anne. "ONE TO WATCH Sama Alshaibi: The Physicality of Exile". 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Aida Eltorie,"Nadour Collection"SWEEP
  5. ^ Maymanah Farhat,"Secrets Catalogue"
  6. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]