Rula Halawani shoots and produces images of the changes taking place daily on the Palestinian territory. She explains “I am an artist, a photographer who lives and works in an intensely political environment (…) the question of making political art does not arise in the Palestinian context. Our existence is entirely defined, at all levels, by political circumstances. ”
The Intimacy series gives an account of the inevitable contact between Israelis and Palestinians, Rula here chose to highlight the body searches at the Qualandia checkpoint, revealing what has become a true ritual of authority. In Negative Incursion as in the Wall series, she transcends the photographic documentary tradition while making her large scale pictures almost unreal, depicting an improbable world which should only exist in nightmares.
Rula Halawani was born, grew up and still lives in the Mount of Olives district in East Jerusalem. She started as photojournalist and worked as freelance journalist for many newspapers and magazines. Her subjective view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict pushed her to cease this activity and to turn exclusively to visual arts since 1988. She is the founder and director of the photography department of the Birzeit University.
The photographs of Rula Halawani have been shown through solo exhibitions in London (2010), at the Suha Shoman foundation, Darat Al Funun in Amman in Jordan (2006), in Palestine (2003 and 2004) and at the City Museum in Rome (2002). She has also taken part in group exhibitions, in particular at Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris (2009) and on the of occasion of the 6th and 7th Sharjah Biennial in the United Arab Emirates (2003 and 2005) as well as the Busan Biennial in Korea (2004).