Isshaq Albarbary’s work focuses on the interactions between refugees and their living spaces. Shaped by his life and traumas growing up in a refugee camp in Palestine, Albarbary experiments with collective thinking, imagining, learning, and connecting to others. Situated between art, politics, and education, his work includes performance, collaboration, spatial intervention, and writing, which he uses to historicize lived experiences of extraterritoriality. While at Amant, Albarbary will look at stateless subjects’ identification cards and tombstones to examine the language of statecraft. By convening mujaawarahs (مجاورة, neighboring or gatherings) and tanaaqush (تناقش, discussion) as mediums of collective learning and storytelling of alternative futures, he will consider the political agency of the figure of the refugee and reimagine structures beyond the confines of the nation-state project and its restrictive, dehumanizing discourse around refugees.
Albarbary, born in 1988 in Beit Jibrin refugee camp, Palestine, currently lives and works between Amsterdam and Bethlehem. He has shown his work (carried out collaboratively) at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and the Serralves Museum in Porto. His work has been included in the São Paulo Biennial, the Qalandya International in Palestine, Documenta 13 in Kassel, and the Chicago Architecture Biennial. He was a fellow at BAK in Utrecht and a participant and coordinator of Campus in Camps, an educational program that activated collective critical learning environments in Palestinian refugee camps. Albarbary is a founding member of Al Maeishah, a communal learning environment in which participants explore and practice neighbouring and hospitality as radical political acts.