Installation view of Alienation showing work by Raafat Ishak and Abdulnasser Gharem
The work of Raafat Ishak in Alienation
The work of Shawki Youssef in Alienation


  • 24 March - 28 Sept., 2012
  • Barjeel Art Foundation

Alienation, a state of being detached or estranged, can refer to how people are excluded or marginalised due to barriers in language, culture, religion, social disposition, sexuality or political views. That which is familiar to a mainstream of a society is valued while elements regarded as foreign or “alien” are treated with suspicion.

The consequences of these barriers take shape in various contexts, including ties between nations and ideological clashes between individuals. As authorities make decisions to draw borders and stipulate regulations and rights in the foreground, alienation seeps into the background and can be viewed in the individual stories of people affected by it.

Works in this exhibition highlight how alienation is manifested in scenarios as diverse as geopolitical relations and personal daily experiences. The works investigate the banalities of immigration processes, as well as ideas of national identity, urbanisation and the human condition.