Placeholder canvas

Samira Badran, The Daughter of Arts

Samira Badran, born in 1954 in Tripoli, Libya, emerges from a family with a profound artistic legacy. This background has shaped her understanding of the conflicts faced by the Palestinian people, offering her a deeply humanized perspective gained from firsthand experience.

Jamal Badran (1909-1999), Samira’s father, played a pivotal role in her artistic upbringing. Renowned as both an artist and an expert in Islamic arts and crafts, he excelled in sculpture and painting, showcasing his talents across diverse mediums such as parchment, paper, ceramics, wood, and glass. [1] Jamal and his siblings, Abdel Razzaq (a photographer), and Khairy (a weaver), established a studio in Jerusalem in 1945, aiming to promote national and Islamic artistic traditions. However, the family faced adversity when they lost the studio during the Nakba in 1948, compelling Jamal to relocate his practice to Libya. Despite the prolonged exile, the Badran family eventually returned to Palestine in 1962.

At the age of 13, Samira endured a harrowing experience vividly rooted in her memory during the Six-Day War in 1967. The Badran family fled Palestine, seeking refuge first in Amman and then in Beirut, where they spent six tumultuous months before returning to their home in Ramallah, a city located 16 kilometers north of Jerusalem. During this period, Samira grappled with anguish and bore witness to the devastating toll of war.

Between 1971 and 1976, Samira pursued her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cairo, and subsequently attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence from 1978 to 1982. Since 1977, she has been actively involved in significant group exhibitions, and from 1985 onward, she has exhibited her work in solo presentations.

Throughout her four-decade career, Samira Badran’s artistic journey has undergone evolution, yet her work consistently delves into themes of mobility and claustrophobia within the Palestinian context. This exploration is evident in her debut short film, “Memory of the Land” (2017), a mixed media animation. Here, the protagonist—a pair of disembodied legs—serves as a poignant symbol, accentuating the profound limitations imposed by Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement across their fragmented territory, as articulated by Badran herself.

Samira Badran has showcased her work extensively across the globe, with exhibitions spanning diverse cities such as Florence, Baghdad, London, Jerusalem, and Washington, DC. Since the early 1980s, she has resided in Barcelona, where her works and creativity flow freely within its vibrant streets.

[1] Source Consulted:

Share this article
Shareable URL
Prev Post

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations surge across US university campuses, resulting in the detention of hundreds.

Read next