Raafat Hattab, *1981 in Jaffa, Israel
lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel. Raafat Hattab is a Palestinian performance artist from Jaffa, who grew up in a muslim family, but attended a french school and later a jewish school. The various cultures he was exposed to and grew up within left a deep impression that is reflected in his multi layered body of works.
He uses his own body, family history and language to investigate questions of identity and affiliation. In his view, he belongs to neither the Palestinian nor the Israeli society. Therefor he egalitarian uses at the same time iconographies of Eastern and Western culture to break up the separation between these two spheres. He interweaves folkloric and traditional symbols and emblems into an imagined commonality that overcomes the clear geographical boundaries that define cultures. Hattab is interested in a „diversity in the middle“ and tries to dissolve the ubiquitous idea of binaryity, starting with the man and woman. He invites the audience to cross the line between the perceived genders. His alter ego, Bride of Palestine, uses gender as a tool to problematize political repression.
Through Art Haatab examines his existence both as individual and as part of mankind. What started as a personal journey of deconstructing the components of his identities transformed through time to a research examining the essence of non-belonging, and non-attachment. He believes artistic practice can uplift the mind to a spiritual realm and be reflected to the viewers through objects seeking ideals of order, balance and harmony.
From 2006 to 2012, Hattab was a member of alQaws for Sexual and Gender Diversity in the Palestinian Society and, from 2005 to 2012, co-founder and member of the Alfred Cooperative Institutes for Art and Culture, an artistic project space in Tel Aviv.