Italian/Belgian artist Sibomana contacted me late last year to tell me about his summer trip to Bethlehem. Sibomana traveled to the West Bank to create two art projects, one in particular was about a symbol of the Palestinian identity.
The title of this project was “Milad” and for it the artist created a portrait on Separation wall, Bethlehem / Palestine.
The Portrait is a paste up of Milad, a young Palestinian woman from Bethlehem who is shown wearing the traditional black and white keffiyeh.
The artist told me that “The Palestinian keffiyeh (kufiyyeh) is not a simple piece of fabric, it’s not an indicator of a certain religion neither a symbol of terrorism, as a lot of people around the world like to say“
He continued “The keffiyeh represents the Palestinian identity and culture, it’s a symbol of resistance and resilience. This emblem of heritage is also a symbol that has come to represent solidarity with the Palestinian cause“
As you can see in the photos above, this black and white portrait stands out clearly in amongst all the graffiti and tags along the wall. The paste up is a real strong statement and reminder of the culture of Palestinian people that is often forgotten in news stories across the globe.
About the artist
Based in Rome, Italy, Sibomana (1986) is an Italian-Belgian artist who grew up in different countries between Africa and Europe, experiencing different cultures. This mix of influences has always been reflected throughout his artistic journey. He started in the early 2000′ with graffiti and then chose to study graphic design at ESA Saint-Luc, Brussels. He received his degree in 2009.
Since then, Sibomana has been developing an art putting people and communities at the centre, advocating for peace and freedom. His pieces always tell a story, the story of individuals he personally met, individuals who are the most important part of his artistic process. And talk about identity, multi culturality, migration, emotion. He brought his message to several countries, mainly in the streets, willing to catch the attention of bystanders by using murals and a specific artistic technique combining oversized black and white photographs and bright colour painting.
With the project Waves of the Heroes, initiated in 2015, Sibomana drew posters on immigration in the main cities of the European migrant routes. His posters can be seen in Athens, Istanbul, Rome, Berlin, London and Nicosia. The project is still in progress and the road is still long.
Sibomana has been painting mural pieces around the world for years. His numerous artworks can be seen in Belgium, DR Congo, Rwanda, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Germany and UK. His latest project “Children of the Sea” includes a solo exhibition on migration at Explora Museum in Rome.