06 May 2024 - 10 Aug 2024

Shahid: Khalid Albaih

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art


Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art opened Khalid Albaih: Shahid Exhibition, a new project space exhibition featuring Sudanese artist and political cartoonist Khalid Albaih (b. 1980, Bucharest). This exhibition, on view from 6 May 2024 to 10 August 2024, invites visitors to reflect on their role as witnesses to the ongoing ethnic cleansing in Gaza. 

  Khalid Albaih: Shahid Exhibition, curated by Fatma Mostafawi and Hadeel Al-Kohaji, is an interactive audiovisual installation composed of four printed digital illustrations displayed on a mirror spanning the width of the wall. These drawings reference poignant moments that went viral across social media, resulting in an unprecedented number of witnesses to this live tragedy. Visitors’ reflections in the mirror, among depictions of the victims, emphasise their role as witnesses. The experience is intensified by an image of Gaza’s destroyed cityscape reflected in the mirror and a recorded recitation by visitors of the names and ages of martyrs.  

Zeina Arida, Director of Mathaf, said: ”It is with great pride that we unveil Khalid Albaih’s exhibition at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, reflecting Mathaf’s role as a platform for regional artists to showcase their visions. Since its inception, Mathaf has always been committed to illuminating the diverse tapestry of Arab artistry, covering unique, important causes and shedding light on the way societies are structured as it interrogates the role art plays in our local and regional contexts.”

Through this installation, Albaih stresses the individual’s role as a witness by showing visitors they represent one more voice added to those speaking out for Palestine against biased mainstream media. This use of reflection – both literal and figurative – highlights the world’s complicity in this tragedy, which has exposed the prejudice and injustice of contemporary politics and international law.  

Khalid Albaih, commented: “If the world can’t see Gaza with all the evidence coming out of there, how can they see Sudan; which means if they can see Gaza, they can definitely see us and all of us.”

Press release from Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

Image: Khalid Albaih. Installation view of ‘Shahid’ at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. 2024. Image courtesy of the artist and Mathaf