Walid Al Wawi

State He athen, Sand Paper

30 x 23 cm; handstitched

Artist’s Statement

When the book reached my home in the UK I was stuck in UAE due to Covid lockdowns, and the “home” in which the book arrived to was no longer mine due to the end of a relationship. The creation of this book came at what has been perhaps the most vulnerable time of my life. I had to create the text without ever laying eyes or hands on the book, so with this text I tried to relocate myself by romanticizing a home I’ve never truly known. Every time I read the book I wonder if it’s about my partner, about Palestine, about home, or about all of them but none of them at once.

With their sonorous sounds, vowels are the building blocks of language and often carry deep emotional resonance. Exploring this unease revealed intriguing insights into my linguistic and emotional understanding of home. If I was to separate vowels from the names of everything I love, assuming that everything I loved had a name, would the things in question escape the realm of sentimentality, transcending the vibratory connection with the metaphysical? If I were to abandon the confines of language by quantifying “home” through numerical timestamps and immutable temporal points, constructing a narrative that relies on the nuances between space and distance, thoughts and memories, history and story, could I successfully prove the onomatopoeic properties of “home”?

Home – Hm /HIM/

It is imperative to recognize that the essence of home resides not in the simplicity of language but in an abstract that can only be truly accessed by the homeless.


Walid Al Wawi (b. 19XX, PLACE), is an artist and cultural practitioner passionate about the dismantlement of political connotation in the contemporary Arab identity as well as the deinstitutionalisation of art research in local and international discourse through alternative methodologies of education, and cultural practices. Al Wawi works in painting, performance, video, and installation. He has received critical acclaim for his academic and purist approach to objects and physical documentation that dialogue with the political and cultural identity of the Palestinian body in diaspora and it’s implication on the postcolonialist dream of pan-Arabism. He has been welcomed by leading institutions and spaces such as Darat Al Funun, Jameel Arts Center, Tate Exchange, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art South Korea, FIAC Art Fair, and many more. His most recent undertaking is the founding of the regionally pioneering grassroots initiative Samt, through which he envisions a democratization of art and pushing the boundaries of the physically confined white space to a more contemporary and digital approach; opening the receptivity of art and discourse from Southwest Asia and North Africa to an international audience from all regions without geopolitical restrictions.

Walid Al Wawi – Untitled

Quarantined in Bahrain; For Cities Under Quarantine – The Mailbox Project

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