In the ongoing series I strongly believe in our right to be frivolous, Mounira Al Solh collects personal histories and experiences that emerge from the humanitarian and political crises in Syria and the Middle East. Born in Beirut to a Lebanese father and a Syrian mother, the artist began the series in 2012, shortly after the popular uprising in Syria that led to the ongoing Syrian war.
These drawings document private encounters and conversations between herself and those fleeing the war in Syria –forcibly displaced to Lebanon, Europe and the United States. The more than one hundred and fifty portraits displayed in the exhibition chronicle individual accounts of departure, arrival, trauma and uncertainty. The embroideries in the series are made through collaborative work with women in refugee and minority communities to represent the shared stories of families or groups of people, rather than the individual accounts in the portraits. The most recent addition to the project is Sperveri, a bed-tent installation that serves as a commemorative monument to those lost and deceased.
Al Solh lives and works between Lebanon and the Netherlands. Exploring the weight of our histories with a humorous and often self-reflective approach, her work can be deeply political – yet also fictional and fantasized.