This conversation with Taysir Batniji evolves around one question: what is being a Palestinian artist, or rather, in what consists the delicate and complex negotiation between the urgency of a 70-year-old situation of systematic oppression and the necessity not to be essentialized by it. Between curators and critiques that often oscillate between judging his work as propaganda or thinking that it does not embody the victim’s narrative, Taysir reflects on Palestinianness and, in particular, its relationship to time. We discuss this dimension of his work through episodes of his life between Gaza and Paris, as well as through some of his artworks (see below).

Born in Gaza in 1966, Taysir Batniji studied art at Al-Najah University in Nablus, Palestine. In 1994, he was awarded a fellowship to study at the School of Fine Arts of Bourges in France. Since then, he has been dividing his time between France and Palestine. During this period spent between two countries and two cultures, Taysir has developed a multi-media practice, including drawing, installation, photography, video and performance…

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