The Last Supper or a Class In History - A performance responding to the Palestinian artist Jumana Manna's film Wild Relatives which unfolds a matrix of plant lives, peasants' lives, and seed banks. Following a trip of seeds from Aleppo to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, back to Lebanon, and finally back to the Arctic.
"The Last Supper or a Class In History" performance was part of the program "To Carry The Sun" curated by Narges Mohammadi for IDFA Film Festival | 2021
for the full video documentation of this performance please contact the artist.
On Scales of Violence: How to Measure A Dictator? [Interrupted] - still shot from video installation, 12’19”, (Part of the graduation project at PZI) | 2021
For further viewing please contact the artist.
This film relies on an intersectional feminist autoethnographic research, demonstrating how through 90s TV broadcast news, dictators leaked out of the TV and affected vertically the Patriarchal gaze in family units. The film gets interrupted in the process of its making by the violence that erupted in Palestine in May 2021, in which the Israeli Settler Colonial state was forcibly displacing Palestinians out of their homes in Shiekh Jarrah, Silwan, Beita and Lifta, as it did for 7 decades. Palestinians revolted, which resulted in 11 days war on Gaza that killed 243 civilians among them 67 children.
The film changes its course, as students in the Dutch art institute “Piet Zwart Institute” voice their stance in Solidarity with Palestine and gets censored and silenced by the institution.
The Official Apology Of Hogeschool Rotterdam - A wall text, vinyl cut-out letters on white wood. 210x180cm
-After censoring students for being vocal about their stance in solidarity with Palestine, This work imagines an alternative reality of the Hogeschool Rotterdam response. A curatorial text hijacked and written by Diana Al-Halabi in the graduation of MFA at Piet Zwart Institute.
Holding Palestine - 7 days performance, May 2021
In May 2021, students of Piet Zwart Institute – which is managed under WDKA and Hogeschool Rotterdam – were faced with silencing and censoring, as they hung a banner in solidarity with Palestine. This Banner which was initiated by students among them Christian Ovesen, Emma Astner, and Diana Al-Halabi, was taken down by the security guards of Hogeschool Rotterdam,
Students gathered to take further actions against the neutral stance of the school, among those actions was:
- a statement against the censoring of freedom of speech and the neutral stance of the school especially when it comes to Palestine, this statement announced the student's decision to hang the banner again,
- a student protest that marched from Erasmus University, passing by WDKA and ending up in Piet Zwart Institute.
- An Alternative working Assembly was collaboratively planned with some tutors from WDKA against the closed meeting that the school invited students to in order to discuss the recent events.
Many other actions were taken on an individual level, like radio shows, hanging Palestinian flags from the windows of the studios, etc.
The school policing became so excessive, security guards kept visiting the campus building on an hourly basis. Weeks of back and forth confrontations, students such as Christian Ovesen and Emma Astner decided to use the watermelon symbol of the Palestinian flag in order to hang another banner. The banner was taken down one hour later.
The reason was: Nothing is allowed to hang from the building.
I initiated the "Holding Palestine" performance in response to the school's reasoning of "nothing is allowed to be hung".
This 7 days performance, invited artists, tutors, and supporters to come to hold the banner in rotation: every two artists held the banner for an hour, 10 hours a day, for 7 days.
Reading broadcastings, discussions, podcasts were organically held on the stairs.
For further documentation of this performance and the events that happened in May 2021, visit the Instagram account of
The Visa Regime Banner - Ink on an outdoor banner, a collaboration with Afrang Nordlöf Malekian,
(part of open studios at PZI) | 2021
The banner “If a curfew violates freedom of movement, so does the visa regime.” placed on the emergency exit of Piet Zwart Institute, is a protest against the silence of European authorities towards the long-lasting curfew so-called the visa regime. This statement is a response to the current events taking place in the Netherlands and beyond, where a male-dominant discourse is critiquing the temporary curfew as a “violation of freedom of movement”.
If violated, what different meanings could “freedom of movement” have depending on whose mobility is affected? This question was the point of departure of this project. In the current Covid-19 pandemic, the government of the Netherlands has taken different measures to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. One of them is a curfew. When implemented, riots stormed the streets for a few nights. The debate went into court and initially, the Hague District Court called the curfew a “far-reaching violation of the right to freedom of movement and privacy”.
Only a few, mostly right-wing groups in the Netherlands, have addressed their opposition to the curfew as a violation of freedom of movement. Those are the same groups that usually push nationalistic agendas, reinforce strict Schengen visa regulations, and vote against facilitating easy access to migrants and refugees fleeing war and economic hardships.
The double standard of what freedom of movement means, makes us intrigued to ask, what does the European border regime do to freedom of movement when it fortifies its borders and treats newcomers as the “other” who is only welcomed if it serves as a commodity in a capitalistic society?
Diana Al-Halabi and Afrang Nordlöf Malekian
“Your Guide to Taking Back (Temporarily) What We Have Taken From You (Permanently) ” - digital downloadable work | (part of Print& Play exhibition) | 2021
Aspect Ratio - Still shot from “Aspect Ratio” –
video, 2’09” | 2020
In this video, I have compared the scale of a dictator “Saddam Hussein” with my scale.
“Saddam Hussein” who was the former dictator of Iraq has been the fascination of my father, who in turn was about to name me after him if my biological gender has allowed it. I placed Saddam in a 35x45mm / 50x50mm photo size (the standard bureaucratic size for American and Schengen visa).
Thus attempting in a minimal gesture with a feminist persistence to scale down patriarchy from its ultimate form of dictator’s monuments to a passport size pictures, trying to equalize power to a horizontal relation instead of a vertical one.
I Have Measured Your Body With Mine - Double sided painting
Acrylic on transparent plastic
The Portrait Of My Father - 8 pictures collected from the internet and printed on A4 papers.
“The Portrait of my Father”; 8 pictures printed on A4 papers. 2020
Can a portrait of a particular father be made with images of commonality? Would it then be less exclusive or less personal for audience, yet still puts the viewer in the singular specific element of the phallic for example? In the attempt to blow up the scale of patriarchy from the domestic to the social, from the father figure in a nuclear family to the common dictator of a society, I used images of omnipresent products collected from the internet, to portrait one specific personality very personal to me which is my father.
Delivered Home With No Eye Contact - Paintings based on screenshots of video calls with family and friends back in Beirut, these paintings were exhibited in the Growing Space Rotterdam