Sama Alshaibi (b. Basra, Iraq, 1973), is a multi-media artist who employs the use of photography, video/object hybrids, and installation. Alshaibi’s practice explores spaces of conflict, post-war and migration to tease out issues of citizenship and power. Frequently featuring herself as a protagonist within her works she applies the body as an allegorical device to investigate geographical metaphors that exist between spaces of political and social oppression. Alshaibi’s monograph, Sama Alshaibi: Sand Rushes In (New York: Aperture, 2015) presents her Silsila series, which probes the human dimensions of migration, borders, and environmental demise. Silsila was exhibited at the 55th Venice Biennale (Venice, 2013), the Honolulu Biennale (Hawaii, 2017), Marta Herford Museum (Germany, 2017), and the Qalandia International Biennial (Haifa, 2016). Her 15 solo exhibitions include Silsila (Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, NY, 2017 and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona, 2016), Collapse (Ayyam Gallery, Dubai, 2015), and Sand Rushes In (Ayyam Gallery, London, 2015).
Alshaibi is Professor and Co-Chair of Photography, Video & Imaging at University of Arizona, Tucson, where she was granted the title “1885 Distinguished Scholar”. She received a Visual Arts Grant by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture in 2017, the Arizona Commission on the Arts “Visual Arts Grant” in 2018 and was awarded a Fulbright Scholar Fellowship (2014-2015) as part of a residency at the Palestine Museum in Ramallah.
Her group exhibitions include Tucson Museum of Art (Arizona), CCS Bard Hessel Museum & Galleries (Bard College, NY), Museum De Wieger (Netherlands), the 2014 FotoFest International Biennial (Houston and Abu Dhabi), and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Denver). Her video artworks and films have screened in numerous film festivals internationally. Her works have been collected by public institutions and collectors internationally. She has been featured in Art Asia Pacific, NY Times, Ibraaz, Bluin Artinfo, Contemporary Practices, Harpar’s Bazaar, The Guardian, CNN, Huffington Post and Hysteria. She received a MFA in Photography, Video, and Media Arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder (2005).
Alshaibi is represented by Ayyam Gallery in Dubai, UAE.
Photo courtesy of the artist