Jawad Al Malhi

Interdisciplinary Palestinian artist Jawad Al Malhi draws inspiration from his home – a refugee camp in Jerusalem situated a few hundred metres from an Israeli checkpoint. Al Malhi, born in 1969, grew up on the Shuafat Refugee Camp and began sketching camp life during his teenage years, before moving on to painting large-scale works on fabric sacks that had contained United Nations aid. He uses photography, painting, video and installation to capture transformations over time, such as new levels erected on existing buildings.

Three generations of Palestinians reside in the overcrowded camp, established in the 1960s and under constant surveillance. In this panoramic view, Al Malhi takes the perspective of an onlooker in a neighbouring Israeli settlement. Taken during winter, the photo captures the camp’s desolate and claustrophobic feeling. "The winters are very cold, and there are no services, no power," relates Al Malhi, who forces viewers to face the reality of refugee camps in hopes of provoking change. "When it is really raining, the people make holes to let the water pass from house to house, because all the drainage will come up.”

Al Malhi's work has been exhibited in Japan, New York, Sharjah, Palestine and Jerusalem.