Mohamed Harb (1971)
Lives and works in Gaza
Born in Gaza, Mohamed Harb holds a Bachelor of Fine Art from An-Najah University in Nablus (Palestine). Since 1995, Harb has been working in a variety of media including photography, video, and documentary film. He has been working as a director at the Palestinian Space Channel in Gaza since 2003. Harb has received local and international awards for his innovation particularly his use of IT and video techniques. Over the last ten years Harb has participated in many local, regional and international exhibitions including the solo exhibitions Reflection in Gaza and Cairo between 2009 and 2010, and Ebal at Qattan Foundation in Ramallah (Palestine) in 2005. His short films Colors in the Ashes (2008) and The Darkness of Light (2008) have also been shown internationally to critical acclaim.
Transcript of GAZA’S GUERNICA, 2013
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Some or most artists see Gaza as a grave for artists, but I see it differently.
Mohamed Harb/ Artist: I started with lines on the wall. I asked myself why? In the streets of Gaza, Gaza looked like it was slowing down. After my five year absence I returned, nothing has changed. Buildings and streets are the same, even people I knew were the same. Nothing has changed. And who was riding a bike, still riding a bike and who was selling grocery still at the same place. I was surprised and I said,’ Is it possible that time has stopped in Gaza?’
Tayseer Batneeji/Artist: University of al Najah, then School of Fine Arts Bourges France, those years were full of experience.
Hamed Joha/Artist: I was working before I graduate and searching about many Art topics. Topics relating to Gaza led me to Naive Art and I was thinking deeply about it. How can I get inside a child’s mind and work on what he sees and thinks of?
Gaza is the Source of Inspiration for all artists
Baseal Maqousi/Artist: I think Gaza inspires all artists. Its topics are our daily lives. We express them through our Art such as painting or video or photography
Tayseer Batneeji/Artist: By the second Intifada I came home, I returned to Gaza. My art emanates from Gaza, where from my experience here, as I belong to this part as a Palestinian, a human or an artist.
Shareef Sarhan/Artist: There are many artists’ work on certain moments they experienced. By coincidence I experienced a moment like those, a moment that every Palestinian suffered from.
Raed Issa/Artist: My name is Raed Issa, an artist from Gaza. My house was bombed by the Israeli air force, fired nine missiles on the house. Of course, this scene is painful for me as an artist, bombing your house and your studio, everything was destroyed in a moment.
Mohamed Hawajri/ Artist: There was an idea I always repeated, it bothered my friends, ‘Stick to the return to Gaza.’
Mohamed Joha/Artist: I considered the life we live is a work of video art, like moving in a narrow space, like living in a cardboard box. I like to translate these experiences that can ease my inner suffering and my own complaints.
Shareef Sarhan/ Artist: I was in my car when suddenly a rocket hit the car in front. The shock made me stand still for thirty to forty seconds, only watched, stunned. How people live that moment, this big fuss. I went back to my studio, I stayed for a full week, started sketching and remembering the scenes and after I finished, what do I do now? I did an exhibition called,’ The Moment of the Bombing.’
Tayseer Batneeji/Artist: I was inspired by the themes, like that project that was produced here of the experience of the Palestinians-1948 migration. Migration in 1948, people brought with them the keys to their homes, even though homes didn’t exist anymore. What remained of the keys is the rust.
Mohamed Hawajri/ Artist: Everything around me in this city is an art project, the vocabulary of the city away from the pain.
Mohamed Harb/ Artist: Those news affected our lives. Why this destruction and why this bombing? And continuously news screens in Gaza. It has caused me much obsession.
Speaker: Every day in Gaza we discover art projects that is offered to the world. This is how we convey our message like any other Palestinian to the whole world.
Speaker: This confirms once again that art is an effective method, it has strong impact on the mean, how people try to touch the reality.
Mohamed Harb/ Artist: Gaza for me is a dream I wish to change its colour. Some artists see Gaza. I see it differently, I think Gaza is full of treasures that can produce many projects.
Raed Issa/Artist: When I thought about it, I said if the Israelis destroyed my studio, they can’t destroy my spirit, my memories and my art. I am trying to make life and art. And through my art, I resist the occupation.
Tayseer Batneeji/Artist: ‘Transit’, was my latest video work it shows the suffering of Palestinians at Rafah crossing.