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The concept of celebration as a method of resistance - Meet Karmel Sabri

Karmel Sabri, 25, uses immersive artwork to insight joy that can be used as a method of resistance.

Personal Profile


Name: Karmel Sabri


Profession: Artist and Organizer


Doer/thinker: ‘‘I say both because I think you have to think in order to do.’’


Party personality: The puppeteer. She really likes to make everything happen and to control the vibes.

Favorite party outfit: ‘‘It depends on the party for sure, becauseI love to match my outfit to the vibe. But usually I like something that is flamboyant and sleek. Monochrome two piece sets are always a really clean and nice look I think.’’





Can you tell us what you do?

‘‘So, I’m an artist but my practice is very rooted in curating politically conscious events. My interests lay in space and engaging the audience in environments. That’s why I also do a lot of installations. So, I would say that I am very mixed media. I focus a lot on my identity as a Palestinian.’’



What do you want to convey with your work?

‘‘There are different messages attached to my work. But for the last five years I have mostly focused on the concept of celebration as a method of resistance. That people who are in oppressive situations can use their ability to celebrate themselves in order to resist oppression. They can also use it to be closer to their culture when they are in a displaced community. I’m really searching for the joy in communities who have collectively gone through trauma or suffering. This joy can come out in dance and music etc.’’



Portrait: Joana Kazmaier

Both pictures come from “Your singular representation of Arabs bores us (2018)” project by Karmel Sabri & Lamia Abukhadra

Models: Karmel Sabri & Lamia Abukhadra

Photos: Samson Melkamu & Nextdimentional



What do you think needs to change in the creative industry?

‘‘That’s a tricky question. I would say I personally don’t feel that I have to push to change anything in the creative industry. Especially with arts, since it’s imitating what’s going on in the world around you. I think it’s interesting to observe the things that change naturally over time.’’

What are your future goals as an artist?

‘‘I would really like to do more events when corona is done and to make some public interventions here in Amsterdam. I have only lived here since August and I would love to find more ways to be more site specific. I would love to engage more communities appropriately.’’



‘’I’m really searching for the joy in communities who have collectively gone through trauma or suffering’’


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