Wednesday February 28th, 2024
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9 Palestinian Artists Who've Lent Their Voice to the Resistance

These artists have all helped put Palestine on the global arts map, immortalising their struggle and resistance.

Fadila Khalid

In the face of adversity, art has often emerged as a powerful medium for self-expression and resilience. Nowhere is this more evident than in the works of Palestinian artists, who have channelled their experiences, hopes and dreams into creations that transcend all borders. From the brushstrokes of painters to the craft knives of sculptors, Palestinian artists have captured the essence of their culture, the struggles of their people, and their desire for justice and freedom.


Sliman Mansour is a prominent Palestinian painter and sculptor known for his powerful and politically charged artwork. Born in 1947 in Birzeit, Palestine, Mansour's work often reflects the struggles, resilience and aspirations of the Palestinian people. His paintings, characterised by their symbolic imagery and earthy tones, convey themes of identity, displacement, and resistance. Mansour's iconic painting, ‘The Camel of Hardship’, has become a symbol of Palestinian steadfastness. His art has been exhibited internationally and is part of illustrious collections around the world.


Khaled Hourani is a multidisciplinary Palestinian artist, curator and writer. Born in 1965 in Hebron, Hourani's work explores themes of identity, memory and the socio-political realities of Palestine. He is known for his conceptual art, installations and photography. Hourani co-founded the International Academy of Art Palestine and served as its director from 2007 to 2010. His work has been exhibited globally, including at the Venice Biennale and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Hourani's contributions to the Palestinian art scene extend beyond his own artistic practice, as he has played a significant role in fostering artistic dialogue and promoting emerging Palestinian artists.LAILA SHAWA

Laila Shawa is an acclaimed Palestinian artist and writer born in Gaza in 1940. Her art addresses themes of conflict, gender and power dynamics. Shawa's work combines different mediums, including painting, printmaking, and collage, to create visually striking and thought-provoking pieces. She has exhibited her art around the world, shedding light on the Palestinian experience and challenging societal norms. Shawa's work often incorporates symbolic imagery, such as keys and birds, to convey narratives of displacement and resilience. Through her art, she seeks to provoke dialogue and raise awareness about the Palestinian struggle for justice and freedom.IBRAHIM HAZIMEH

Ibrahim Hazimeh is a Palestinian sculptor known for his intricate and expressive sculptures. Born in 1933 in Palestine, Hazimeh's work draws inspiration from Palestinian folklore, heritage, and nature. His sculptures, often made from bronze, stone or wood, reflect a deep connection to the land and the resilience of the Palestinian people. Hazimeh's art has been exhibited in Palestine and internationally, and his sculptures can be found in public spaces and private collections.MALAK MATTAR

Malak Mattar is a young Palestinian artist born in 1999 in Gaza. Despite her youth, Mattar has gained international recognition for her powerful and emotionally charged artwork. She uses various mediums, including painting, drawing and digital art, to depict the experiences of Palestinians living under occupation and the impact of conflict on children. Mattar's art often explores themes of resilience, hope and the longing for freedom. Her work has been exhibited in Palestine and abroad, providing a voice for the Palestinian youth and shedding light on their struggles and aspirations.ISMAIL SHAMMOUT

Ismail Shammout was a highly regarded Palestinian artist and painter. Born in 1930 in Lydda, Palestine, his art vividly captures the Palestinian experience, particularly the 1948 Nakba and its impact on Palestinian society. Shammout's paintings depict scenes of displacement, suffering and resistance, conveying the resilience and determination of the Palestinian people. His work has been exhibited worldwide, and he co-founded the Arab Association of Artists in 1974. Shammout's art has become an integral part of Palestinian cultural heritage, documenting a critical period in history.NASR ABDEL AZIZ ELEYAN

Nasr Abdel Aziz Eleyan is a Palestinian artist known for his vibrant and expressive paintings. Born in 1955 in Gaza, Eleyan's art reflects his deep connection to the land, culture and people of Palestine. His paintings often depict scenes of daily life, traditional Palestinian motifs, and the struggle for justice. Eleyan's use of bold colours and dynamic brushstrokes creates a sense of movement and vitality in his artwork. He has exhibited extensively in Palestine and internationally, contributing to the promotion of Palestinian art and culture.HANI ZUROB

Hani Zurob is a Palestinian artist born in 1976 in Rafah, Gaza. His artwork explores themes of exile, identity and resistance. Zurob's paintings combine elements of abstraction and figurative art, often depicting fragmented and distorted human figures. Through his art, Zurob grapples with the complex emotions and experiences of Palestinians living under occupation, conveying a sense of struggle, resilience and hope. He has exhibited his work in Palestine and internationally, and his art has been recognized for its powerful and thought-provoking nature. Zurob's contribution to the Palestinian art scene adds a unique perspective and engages viewers in critical conversations surrounding the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice.


Abed Abdi is a renowned Palestinian artist born in 1942 in Haifa, Palestine. His art covers a wide range of mediums, including painting, sculpture and printmaking. Abdi's work often explores themes of social justice, the Palestinian identity, and the struggles faced by marginalised communities. His art incorporates elements of Palestinian folklore and traditional motifs, while also addressing the broader human experience. Abdi's unique artistic style combines realism with a touch of symbolism, creating visually captivating and emotionally charged pieces. He has exhibited his artwork globally, contributing to the recognition and appreciation of Palestinian art and culture. Additionally, Abdi is known for his commitment to art education and has mentored and inspired numerous young Palestinian artists throughout his career.


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