Refuge 5, by Basel Uraiqat (Jordan)



Refuge 5, by Basel Uraiqat (Jordan)




Basel Uraiqat's series of works, entitled, "Refuge," was created in response to poetic texts written by Habibah Sheikh, a nomadic performance artist originally from Lebanon, and the curator of the Mitli Mitlak exhibition. In the text, a character named Ruba experiences the destruction of war first hand and becomes a refugee in the process. The use of imagery and of violence evokes the emotional and physical vulnerability of certain Mediterranean themes...such as being without asylum.

"Refuge" is Exodos from a physical point of view. “There is the feeling of weakness towards refugees, they are homeless. This artwork gives the imitation of falling and being on the periphery, " Says Basel Uraiqat. “I have this empathy that keeps building up. The important source is that it is a very bad situation for them. They are going through it during generations. Sometimes you think that it is their own fault... But they are stuck. You want to accommodate them, and want them to be free. The feeling of falling apart is significant. They were in a certain dignified and educated status, and something was pulled from under their feet. This free fall keeps them floating.”

In the vastness of the earth is a palette of tans and browns: the colors of this series of paintings that instill feelings of mystery, softness, and empathy (in the spectator). Yet cloudy whiteness shrouds over them, bringing notions of death in frosty wind. The solitude of being homeless, holding oneself tightly, waiting for dawn, sleeplessly, between ice and rock, in plastic tents, is expressed only through color and form. The vastness of rugged mountains absorbs the sobs of parents and children, painted as silhouettes and anoints suffering with the anodyne of faith/prayer coming from salvation camps, or walking in exodos. They are poised and elegant, for all is in God’s hands.

In Mitli Mitlak (Like You, Like Me), the nomadic crowd is walking, voices of faith and insistence are driving the body of people to move forward, to live on.

Mitli Mitlak (Like You, Like Me), Act 1, Scene 3

Our villages have been destroyed
Houses burned
We’re broken; Kicked out
And suddenly in a situation of having nothing
Some not being able to survive
We walked for days and weeks
The sacredness of families who
were ignored

Saying, “Over the great river! Over the green hills!
Over the mountains and seas!
put your foot down! Put your foot down!
Saying Put your foot down!
footstep by footstep.
To the rhythm! To the rhythm!”



jpeg., 40 x 40 (inches)



Original Format




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