Wafa Hourani

Palestine

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@wafahourani
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Growing up in Palestine as one of 21 siblings, Wafa Hourani earned his pocket money as a backstage wedding photographer. At the age of 15 he was shot in the foot by an Isreali soldier and passed the time in hospital reading poetry and fiction, and falling in love with the arts. Wafa went on to study experimental cinema and started work on a feature film of his own, a project that tragically fell apart when his brother and nephew drowned on set. Since then, he’s recorded music, written scripts, painted, and created sculptures—to name a few—with the trauma and loss he’s experienced informing a lot of his artworks. We featured the project “Future Cities,” a series of intricate scale models depicting life inside the notorious Qalandia refugee camp. Feeling that photography alone couldn’t capture the social and political complexity of life in the camp, Wafa decided to create an atmospheric mixed media installation. The resulting artworks portray entire settlements, including an airport and a checkpoint, with audio playing from the miniature houses which are occupied by miniature people. He sees his art as a way of telling stories, encouraging viewers to open their minds to both the light and dark parts.

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For me, saying things about the future is just a polite way to say things about today.