Khaled Barakeh is a conceptual artist and cultural activist. He graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus in 2005 and received his MFA from Funen Art Academy in Odense, Denmark, in 2010. In 2013, he completed a Meisterschuler study at the Städelschule Art Academy in Frankfurt a.M., Germany.

Khaled Barakeh’s practice is based on reframing moments of dissonance, and often outright injustice, in political, and social structures. Although he employs a wide range of artistic strategies, this is often achieved through deft manipulation of immediately recognizable and found objects, and preexisting imagery. In recent years, his projects have delved into the media’s portrayal of victims of conflict, once cohesive communities divided by political strife, and the dynamics of integration for refugees. Barakeh sees art as an opportunity for these moments to be understood, and felt, by a broader audience; not just the individuals which experience their acute effects.

Originally trained as a painter, Barakeh’s move from Syria to Denmark in 2008, and the course of his studies there, spurred a transition into his current conceptual approach. In 2010, His solo exhibition, Isomerization, at Kunsthallen Brandts reflected on the complex dynamics of immigration and integration within Danish society, as well as his own experience as a foreign artist. Each day during the course of the exhibition, 200 falafel sandwiches were prepared and wrapped in paper printed with the portraits of immigrants residing in the Vollsmose neighborhood. As the community cycled through the exhibition and the sandwiches were consumed, the residents of Odense were allowed a novel, face-to-face perspective on their engagement with the local immigrant community.

In 2017, Studio Khaled Barakeh was established in Berlin. The studio’s activity and engagement are driven by what Barakeh has termed The Practice of Necessity; an ethos which dictates responses to the urgencies of an ever-changing political and social landscape. These responses should enact change by operating with the same mechanisms as political infrastructure itself. This led Barakeh to found CoCulture e.V. alongside his artistic practice. A nonprofit organization which contains a suite of initiatives including SYRIA Cultural Index, the Syrian Biennale, and Support the Supporters, coculture is focussed on addressing the many challenges faced by displaced cultural producers in the Middle East, Europe, and beyond.

Alongside his studio activity, since 2018, Barakeh has facilitated an ongoing series of workshops with the Berlin Career College at the Universität der Künste Berlin. Aimed at supporting artists in exile, these workshops provide professional practice skills critical to success in the Berlin scene.

In 2020, Barakeh unveiled his project MUTE. Spring and Summer of that year saw mass social restrictions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which coincided with the first international trial for war crimes committed by members of the Syrian regime. Those who would have attended the case and demonstrated in support of this shift in accountability for the regime were prevented by travel restrictions and bans on social gathering. Designed to circumnavigate these regulations, MUTE is a collection of about 50 inanimate figures. Dressed in the donated personal clothing of artists and activists from across the Syrian diaspora, this silent demonstration stood in observance of the trial proceedings in front of the Higher Regional Court in Koblenz, Germany on the 1st of July, 2020.

In addition to the projects mentioned above, Barakeh has exhibited at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, The 11th Shanghai Biennale, Salt Istanbul, The Frankfurter Kunstverein, Artspace New Zealand, The Busan Biennale, The Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, and many other international venues and instituations.

Khaled Barakeh lives and works in Berlin, Germany.  

Education

2017
ARTS RIGHTS JUSTICE SUMMER ACADEMY
University of Hildesheim, Germany.
2013
MEISTERSCHUELER
Städelschule Art Academy, Frankfurt a.M, Germany.
2010
MASTER DEGREE IN FINE ARTS (MFA)
Funen Art Academy, Odense, Denmark.
2003
DIPLOMA DEGREE IN FINE ARTS
Damascus University, Syria.
2003
DART AL FUNUN SUMMER ACADEMY
Supervisor: Prof. Marwan Kassab Bachi; Amman, Jordan.

Teaching

2019 – 2018
UNIVERSITY OF ARTS BERLIN (UDK)
Berlin Career College, Artist Training. Berlin, Germany.
2018
SUMMER SCHOOL ON CULTURAL DIVERSITY
Artist in the Community Scheme Residency. Dublin, Ireland.
2016 - 2015
PAUL-HINDEMITH-SCHULE
Frankfurt, Germany.

Residency & Scholarship

2019
AFAC ARAB FUND FOR ARTS AND CULTURE
Visual Arts Program. Beirut, Lebanon.
2018
EUROPEAN CULTURAL FOUNDATION
Courageous Citizens R&D Grant. Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
2018
ENPACT
Startup Mentoring East Africa + Europe. Berlin, Germany.
2017
FORD FOUNDATION
New York, USA.
2016
ZK/U – ZENTRUM FÜR KUNST UND URBANISTIK
Berlin, Germany.
2015
ROBERTO CIMETTA
Paris, France.
2013
THE PLAYHOUSE ICAN
Northern Ireland, UK.
2012
HESSISCHE FILMFÖRDERUNG
Frankfurt, Germany.
2011
THE BRITISH COUNCIL
Beirut, Lebanon.

Exhibitions

Solo Exhibitions
2019
AUFHEBEN
Curated by the artist. Galerie Heike Strelow, Frankfurt a.M., Germany.
2018
THE BLUE HOUR
Solo exhibition curated by Tobias Mörike. Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany.
2015
iKB
Curated by the artist; Organised by Corinna Bimboese. Atelierfrankfurt, Frankfurt a.M, Germany.
2014
ON THE ROPES
Curated by the artist at his studio, Frankfurt a.M, Germany.
2013
TRANSMIGRATION
Curated by Susanne Husse. District Kunst und Kulturförderung. Berlin, Germany.
2010
ISOMERIZATION
Curated by Anna Krogh. Kunsthallen Brandts. Odense, Denmark.
2006
UNTITLED
Curated by the artist. Le CCF. Amman, Jordan.
2005
INK ON MY HANDS
Curated by Leccas Delphine. Le CCF. Damascus, Syria.
Curated Exhibitions
2019
FREEDOM TRANSMISSIONS Interventions on the Protection and Promotion of Artistic Freedom
Curated by Khaled Barakeh; Haus Ungarn, Berlin, Germany.
2018
RELENTLESS IMAGES
Group exhibition curated by Khaled Barakeh and Nabil Kanaan. Oslo World, Oslo, Norway.
2018
IN BETWEEN
Group exhibition curated by Khaled Barakeh. Galerie Postel, Hamburg, Germany.
2018
EN MAL D’ARCHIVE
Group exhibition. Station Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
2017
SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT
Group exhibition. University of Arts, Berlin, Germany.
Selected Group Exhibitions
2020
TRAUERN: VON VERLUST UND VERÄNDERUNG
Curated by Brigitte Kölle; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany.
2020
AFTER/IMAGES
Curated by Charlotte Bank; Art-Lab Berlin, Berlin, Germany
2020
TRACES AND MASKS OF FLIGHT
Curated by Günther Oberhollenzer and Georg Traska; Landesgalerie Niederösterreich, Krems an der Donau, Austria.
2020
THE FUTURELESS MEMORY
Curated by Dilek Winchester and Katja Schroeder; Kunsthaus Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.
2019
THE OTHER IS ONESELF
Curated by Fiona Liewher; FRANZ JOSEFS KAI 3, Vienna, Austria.
2019
ARABCITY/OUROUBA
Curated by Rose Issa; Middle East Institute Art Gallery, Washington DC, USA.
2019
MUTTERZUNGE
A multi-venue projecy curated by Misal Adnan Yildiz, Kino-International, Berlin, Germany.
2019
OÙ EST LA MAISON DE MON AMI
Curated by Paula Aisemberg, Dunia Al-Dahan and Véronique Bouruet Aubertot; Maison des Arts Centre d’Art Contemporain de Malakoff, Paris, France.
2018
INSIDE INTEL
Curated by Elliott Burns, India Murphy and Jake Charles Rees. “Conspiracy” CIJ Logan Symposium, St James Hatcham, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.
2018
DIVIDED WE STAND
Curated by Cristina Ricupero and Jörg Heiser; Busan Biennale, Busan, South Korea.
2018
SHIFTING HORIZONS
Curated by Misal Adnan Yildiz; KRANK Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey.
2018
IN BETWEEN: RETHINKING TRANSCULTURAL IDENTITIES
Curated by Charlotte Bank; Art-Lab, Berlin, Germany.
2017
DOES EUROPE EXISTS?
Curated by Achilleas Kentonis; ARTos Foundation, Nicosia, Cyprus.
2017
KASHASH
Curated by Alma Salem; Korzo, Amsterdam and Utrecht, Netherland.
2017
POLITICAL GESTURES
Curated by Adela Demetja ;Galerie Heike Strelow, Frankfurt, Germany.
2017
BORDERLINES
Curated by Claudia Postel; Galerie Postel, Hamburg, Germany.
2017
WE SHOUT AND SHOUT, BUT NO ONE LISTENS
Curated by Tone Olaf Nielsen & Frederikke Hansen; CAMP (Center for Art on Migration Politics), Copenhagen, Denmark.
2016
 WHY NOT ASK AGAIN: ARGUMENTS, COUNTER-ARGUMENTS AND STORIES
The 11th Shanghai Biennale, China.
2016
SANS PAPIERS
Curated by Simone Zaugg and Pfelder; Kurt-Kurt, Berlin, Germany.
2016
THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT IST DER BEGINN EINER WELT, DIE WIR NICHT KENNEN
Curated by Anne König and Jan Wenzel; 7th f/stop Festival for Photography, Leipzig, Germany.
2016
BEACHHEAD’S PEACE OF MIND
Curated by Misal Adnan Yildiz; Artspace, Auckland, New Zealand.
2016
IF ALL RELATIONSHIPS WERE TO REACH EQUILIBRIUM, THEN THIS BUILDING WOULD DISSOLVE
Curated by Miguel Amado; Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, England.
2015
APRICOTS FROM DAMASCUS
Organized by Atıf Akın and Dilek Winchester SALT Galata. Istanbul, Turkey.
2015
TITLED
Curated by Adela Demetja. Heike Strelow Gallery, Frankfurt a.M, Germany.
2015
OVERSHADOWED
Curated by Tobias Mörike. Gallery Holger John, Dresden, Germany.
2015
MAIL ART
Curated Line Krom Jutta Heun. Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany.
2014
NEW FRANKFURT INTERNATIONALS – SOLID SIGNS
Curated by Lilian Engelmann, Frankfurter Kunstverein.
2014
IN PLAIN SIGHT
Curated by Sarah Lookofsky. Smack Mellon. New York, USA.
2013
SAY MY NAME SAY MY NAME
Curated by Bernd Reiß. MMK Museum Für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt Am Main, Germany.
2013
WELCOME
Curated by Line Sandvad Mengers. LSM Project Space, Laven, Denmark.
2013
SYRIA’S ART OF RESISTANCE
Curated by Zaher Omreen. Rich Mix Gallery, London, UK; The Round Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark.
2013
LOCUS
Curated by Didem Yazıcı. Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Germany.
2013
HOME STORIES
Curated by Nicola Muellerschoen. Villa 102, Frankfurt a.M, Germany.
2013
FRAGILE STATES
Curated by Sidd Joag. Brian Morris Gallery. New York, USA.
2012
IMAGINED COMMUNITIES
Curated by Miguel Amado. Golden Thread Gallery. Belfast, Northern Ireland.
2012
THE CHANGING ROOM
Curated by Aida Eltorie. The Underground Gallery. London, UK.
2011
WE ARE NOWHERE AND IT IS NOW
Curated by Patrick Keaveney & Didem Yazıcı. Occupy Space. Limerick, Ireland.
2010
UNTITLED NO.5
Curated by Lars Rahbek. Larm Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Collaborative Projects & Exhibitions
2019
MUTTERZUNGE
Multi-venue project curated by Misal Adnan Yildiz; Kino-International, Berlin, Germany.
2013
MOBILE ACADEMY
Curated by Simon Starling; Organized by Thuy-Han Nguyen Chi & Susanne Husse. Ha Noi, Hoi An, Sai Gon and Berlin.
2011
WHEN IN ROME
Curated and organized by Simon Starling and Mark Mangion. Malta Contemporary Art Foundation. Valletta, Malta. Movement gallery. London, UK.
2009
BUILDING DEMOCRACY
Curated by the collective. Overgaden. Copenhagen; and Rum46. Århus. Denmark.

Selected Talks and Lectures

2020
DIASPORA AS AN OPPURTUNITY: RETHINKING CULTURAL POLICIES AND FORMATION OF ARTISTIC COMMUNITIES
The Artistic Forum on Cultural Diplomacy: Bulding Cultural Bridges Through Art, Film and Music; Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, Arabic Cultural House, Berlin, Germany.
2020
SOCIALLY ENGAGED ART AND ARTISTIC ACTIVISM: ARTISTS’ RESPONSIBILITY IN THE TIME OF CATASTROPHE
ArtsEverywhere Festival, Guelph, Canada.
2019
THE PRESENCE OF THE CATASTROPHE AND ABSENCE OF THE VICTIM
The Other is Oneself Conference, FRANZ JOSEFS KAI 3, Vienna, Austria.
2019
ARTSLINK ASSEMBLY 2019: GLOBAL WARNING – ARTISTS AND THE ANTHROPOCENE
Baruch Performing Art Center, New York, USA.
2019
ART, ACTIVISM, AND MIGRATION
MacDowell NYC, New York, USA.
2019
CULTURAL PRODUCTION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Middle East Institute, Washington, USA.
2019
SYRIA, BERLIN AND THE MEDIA
DW Akademie, Berlin, Germany.
2019
MAPPING BERLIN/DAMASKUS: EINE NEUE LITERARISCHE KARTOGRAPHIE
Internationales Literaturfestival, Collegium Hungaricum, Berlin, Germany.
2019
BEYOND TRAUMA? A TRANSREGIONAL PERSPECTIVE ON TRAUMA AND AESTHETICS
TRAFO Forum Transregionale Studien – ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Berlin, Germany.
2019
RE-DIRECTING EAST / DESIGNING FUTURES
Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland.
2019
EXILE COUNTRY GERMANY: CHALLENGES IN ACADEMIA, CULTURE AND JOURNALISM
KörberForum, Hamburg, Germany
2019
CENSORSHIP AND PROPAGANDA: HOW TO SHOW CONTEMPORARY MEDIATIC WARS AND ARCHIVE THEM?
Super-Décélération; La Colonie, Paris, France.
2019
DIGITAL HIERARCHY: WHO CONTROLS, WHO ACCESSES AND WHO DECIDES?
8th World Summit on Arts and Culture, IFACCA International Federation of Art Councils and Culture Agencies; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
2019
MUTTERZUNGE: AFTERWORD In conversation with Misal Adnan
CoCulture / Studio Khaled Barakeh, Berlin, Germany.
2018
WE ARE (ALL) MIGRANTS: #FREEDOM TO MOVE
Oslo World Seminar in collaboration with Norsk Folkehjelp and Transcultural Arts Production – TRAP. Kulturhuset, Oslo, Norway.
2018
CONTESTING IMAGES
Fotogalleriet, Oslo, Norway.
2018
WHAT HAPPENS POST-RELOCATION?
Safe Havens 2018 Conference. Malmö, Sweden.
2018
FREEDOM TO REMEMBER/CREATE
NextStopDamascus, Odlo Worls Seminars in collaboration with Station Beirut and Syrian Peace Action Centre – SPACE; Kulturhuset, Oslo, Norway.
2018
THE PRACTICE OF NECESSITY
Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.
2018
IDENTITY CRISIS AND EXILED ART: NEW ROLES OF SYRIAN CREATIVES
Facetten des Islams; Club der polnischen Versager, Berlin, Germany.
2018
ECHOES OF THE SOUTH ATLANTIC: ON THE FUTURE OF THE SOUTHERN TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONS
Goethe-Institut Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.
2018
SYRIA: RENEWAL, CREATIVITY AND RESILIENCE
Goethe-Institut Brussels, Belgium.
2018
BETWEEN THE BORDERS
Berlin Art Institute, Berlin, Germany.
2018
MUTTERZUNGE
Babylon Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
2018
ARTIVISM: CREATIVITY AS A MEDIUM OF CHANGE
Denmark Syrian Cultural Citizenship; Syrian Cultural Institute in Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
2017
ART MATTERS: PRACTICES AND AGENCY IN CONTEMPORARY ARTS IN POST-MIGRANT SOCIETIES
Workshop moderation and panel discussion: Robert Bosch Cultural Managers Network, International Alumni Center, Berlin, Germany.
2017
GLOBAL ROUNDTABLE ‘ARTIST SAFETY / SAFE HAVEN’
Artists and Movements – Safe Havens 2017 Conference. Residency Unlimited – ArtsEverywhere, Malmö, Sweden.
2017
STRICTLY PROHIBITED
Survival Of The Artist; The Mosaic Rooms – Shubbak Festival, British Museum, London, UK.
2017
DOES EUROPE EXIST?
ARTos Foundation, Nicosia, Cyprus.
2017
INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE: ENGAGING POTENTIAL, EMBRACING DIVERSITY, CULTURAL DIPLOMACY
Fostering International Cultural Dialogue, Diversity and Sustainability; Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Mellieħa, Malta.
2016
AS FREE AS IT GETS
Landschaften der Hoffnung. Radialsystem V, Berlin, Germany.
2016
ON FOREIGN GROUND
Ettijahat Independet Culture. Goethe-Institut Brussels, SMAK Gent, Belgium.
2016
ARTIVISM (ART & ACTIVISM) IN THE CONTEXT OF MIGRATION
Digital Spring, Salzburg, Austria.
2016
APRICOTS FROM DAMASCUS
SALT, Istanbul, Turkey.
2013
CHALLENGING PLACE
ICAN, The Playhouse, Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, UK.

Selected Publications

2020
Barakeh, Khaled. “THE REALITY THROUGH LENS.”
Global Photography: A Critical History, edited by Erina Duganne, Heather Diack, and Terri Weissmann. Bloomsbury, 2020.
2019
Jurich, Joscelyn S.G. “ABOUNADDARA AND THE GLOBAL VISUAL POLITICS OF THE 'RIGHT TO THE IMAGE'”
Journal of Visual Culture, vol. 18, no. 3, 2019, 378-411.
2019
Grønstad, Asbjørn. “INVISIBILITY AND THE ETHICS OF ERASURE: KHALED BARAKEH'S THE UNTITLED IMAGES"
Invisibility in Visual and Material Culture, edited by Asbjørn Grønstad and Øyvind Vågnes. Palgrave Macmillan, 2019, 111-125.
2019
ARABICITY: CONTEMPORARY ARAB ART.
Edited by Rose Issa and Juliet Cestar. Saqi Books, 2019.
2019
Barakeh, Khaled. “RECONNECTING THE CULTURAL FABRIC OF SYRIA."
Vanity Fair London, 28 March 2019.
2018
Joag, Sidd. “RE-CREATING COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE.”
Fresh Perspectives 8: Safeguarding the Daring Voice: Arts & Freedom of Expression. IETM, 2018, 12-14.
2018
DIVIDED WE STAND: 9TH BUSAN BIENNALE 2018
edited by Jörg Heiser, Cristina Ricupero, and Gahee Park. Sternberg Press and Busan Biennale Organizing Committee, 2018, 38-41.
2018
Barakeh, Khaled. “THE UNTITLED IMAGES (2014).”
Cinema Journal, vol. 57, no. 4, summer 2018, University of Texas Press, 142-146.
2017
Barakeh, Khaled. “APRICOTS FROM DAMASCUS: ISSUE 13.”
Subjects and Objects in Exile, edited by L’Internationale Online, L’Internationale Books, 2017: 63-71.
2016
König, Anne. “THE MULICULTURAL GRAVEYARD: CONVERSATION WITH KHALED BARAKEH ABOUT ONE FACEBOOK POST.”
The end of the world as we know it ist der Beginn einer Welt die wir nicht kennen: f/stop Festival für Fotografie Leipzig 2016, edited by Anne König and Jan Wenzel. Spector Books, 2016, 12-15.
2015
Barakeh, Khaled. “ACT OF EXCISION.”
ArteEast Quarterly, Fall 2015.
2014
Barakeh, Khaled. “REGARDING THE PAIN OF OTHERS AND DAMASCUS 15 FEB 2012 19:47:31"
Artistic responses to the violence in Syria. Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline, edited by Malu Halasa, Zaher Omareen, and Nawara Mahfpud. Saqi Books, 2014, 156-164.
2014
HOME STORIES: LOCATING ARTISTIC PRACTICE IN TODAY'S GLOBAL REALITY
edited by KfW Stiftung. Snoek, 2014.
2012
THE CHANGING ROOM
edited by Aida Eltorie. Finding Projects Association, 2012, 48-51; 126-131.