By Corinne Martin

Nabil Anani: Palestine, Land and People explores the lived Palestinian experience.

Nabil Anani is one of the most prominent Palestinian artists working today. Anani’s development is analogous with major events in Palestinian history. Nabil Anani: Palestine, Land and People is the first monograph of Anani’s work. A painter, ceramicist and sculptor, Anani has built a beautiful body of work consisting of innovative art, over the past five decades, and has pioneered the use of local media such as leather, henna, natural dyes, papier-mâché, wood, beads and copper.

Holy Family, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 105 x 120 cm
Holy Family, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 105 x 120 cm

“The works of Nabil Anani simultaneously perform the roles of novelist, poet, historian, architect, filmmaker, musician and restorer of memory,” writes Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti in his introduction to the book. This book is not only an exploration of an artist, but also an exploration of Palestine. Throughout this volume, themes in Anani’s work are explored, alongside his style and progression as an artist. Contributions from leading Middle Eastern art historians Rana Anani, Lara Khaldi, Bashir Makhoul, Nada Shabout, Housni Alkhateeb Shehadeh and Tina Sherwell offer fascinating insights into Anani’s impressive body of work.

Imwas, 1989, watercolour on paper, 40 x 65 cm
Imwas, 1989, watercolour on paper, 40 x 65 cm

The word “intifada”’ literally means “to shake off.” Lara Khaldi’s essay, Passage into The Light, gives an in-depth understanding of Anani’s rebellious use of materials, which began in 1988 after the beginning of the first intifada that called on all Palestinians to boycott Israeli products. “What Anani and his fellow artists did during the First Intifada was the very shaking off of the medium itself. They became aware of the very infrastructure that holds the work of art, and that is one form of revolutionary art,” explains Lara Khaldi.

Family from Jerusalem, circa 1920s, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 115 x 148 cm
Family from Jerusalem, circa 1920s, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 115 x 148 cm

After the Intifada Anani started using leather as canvas and henna and tea as paint. One of the formal changes that the leather as a material enabled was the transgression of the borders of a geometric canvas, so that it could spill over the usual limitations. Anani’s use of local materials such as leather and natural dyes relieved him of the obligation to use familiar and clichéd symbolism, which enabled him to create a truly distinct and unique oeuvre.

This book presents Anani’s complete body of work, which reflects the lived Palestinian experience, exhibiting distinctive responses to issues of exile, dislocation, conflict, memory and loss. Anani’s artistic vision restores and celebrates a denied and often-forgotten reality, his work re-igniting memory.



SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

Selections editorial presents a quarterly print magazine and weekly online publication with high quality content on all subjects related to Art and Culture. Full of world-leading artworks, exquisite brand imagery, original creative illustrations and insightful written articles.
Selections Viewing Rooms presents carefully curated online art shows aiming not only to shed light on contemporary art executed by living artists, but also for viewers to buy contemporary fine art, prints & multiples, photography, street art and collectibles.
Discover the previous and current shows here.
Cultural Narratives foundation is an extensive collection that is travelling the world by leading established and emerging talents aiming to reflect the culture of the region in their works.


‘Huguette et Nadine L’histoire d’une amitié’ at Galerie Janine Rubeiz

“Huguette possessed a zest for life, and for her, anything was possible. Her freedom and way of thinking took precedence, and she would sweep you along with her.” This is the affectionate sentiment expressed by Nadine Begdache when talking about…

On Show in Dubai this Month

This fall, Dubai welcomes a diverse array of exhibitions, showcasing talent from around the world. In this article, we will be exploring some of the many shows on display. From the digital landscapes of Josh Rowell’s “Moral Codes” at Firetti…

‘In the Shade of the Sun’ at the Mosaic Rooms in London

The Mosaic Rooms announces “In the Shade of the Sun,” a collective exhibition that explores the intricate relationship between politics and aesthetics through the creative lenses of a dynamic new generation of Palestinian artists. This compelling exhibition features fresh multimedia…

‘Afterwards’ by Tarik Kiswanson at the Salzburger Kunstverein

Tarik Kiswanson presents ‘Afterwards’ an installation of new works in the Great Hall of the Salzburger Kunstverein, blending themes of rootlessness, regeneration, and renewal through poetic sculptural and architectural gestures. Growing up in Sweden, to a family exiled from Palestine, Kiswanson’s…

Nathalie Khayat’s Ceramics at Marianne Boesky Gallery

Marianne Boesky Gallery introduces an array of ceramic creations by the Beirut-based artist, Nathalie Khayat, seamlessly integrated within Part II of its summer showcase in Aspen, CO. Through her stonewares, ranging from serving bowls and candle holders to vases, Khayat…

‘Unveiling the Elemental’ by Jean Boghossian at Mark Hachem Gallery Paris

Mark Hachem Gallery Paris is exhibiting a new solo show by Jean Boghossian titled, ‘Unveiling the Elemental.’ The exhibition highlights the artist’s mastery of fire, texture, and form through three distinct series: ‘Rhythms,’ ‘Broken Burnt Lines,’ and the seminal ‘Wave.’…

october 2023

03may(may 3)09:0026nov(nov 26)20:00LOBI LOBI - BOBO LAND - Comic Craze Vol. 3

27may(may 27)09:0014jan(jan 14)09:00THE CASABLANCA ART SCHOOL

29may(may 29)09:0016oct(oct 16)09:00Silent Hands