Sama Raena Alshaibi

Photo of

Professor, Art

Drama Bldg, Room Room 16

MFA, University of Colorado at Boulder; BA, Columbia College, Chicago

Sama Alshaibi’s practice examines the mechanisms displacement and fragmentation in the aftermath of war and exile. Her photographs, videos and immersive installations features the body, often her own, as either a gendered site or a geographic device, resisting oppressive political and social conditions. Alshaibi’s monograph, Sama Alshaibi: Sand Rushes In (New York: Aperture, 2015) presents her Silsila series, which probes the human dimensions of migration, borders, and environmental demise. 

Alshaibi has been featured in several prominent biennials including the Maldives Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale (Italy), the 13th Cairo International Biennale (Egypt, 2019), the 2017 Honolulu Biennial (Hawaii), the 2016 Qalandia International Biennial (Haifa), and FotoFest Biennial, Houston (2014). Alshaibi's recent held solo exhibition at Ayyam Gallery (Dubai, 2019) and at Artpace, where she was participated as the National Artist in Residence (San Antonio, 2019). Alshaibi received the 2019 Project Development Award from the Center (Santa Fe), 2018 Artist Grant from the Arizona Commission on The Arts, and the 2017 Visual Arts Grant from the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (Beirut). Alshaibi was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Fellowship in 2014-2015 as part of a year long residency at the Palestine Museum in Ramallah, where she developed an education program while conducting independent research. 

Alshaibi has exhibited her work in over 20 national and international solo exhibitions including Artpace, Texas (2019), Ayyam Gallery (2019), NYU Abu Dhabi (2019),  the Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, NY (2017), Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona (2016); Ayyam Gallery, Dubai (2015); Ayyam Gallery, London (2015); Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai (2011) and Selma Feriani Gallery, London (2010). Her over 150 group exhibitions include Pen + Brush Gallery (NYC, 2019), American University Museum (Washington D.C., 2018), 2018 Breda Photo Festival (Netherlands), Tucson Museum of Art, Arizona (2017); Marta Herford Museum of Art, Germany (2017), CCS Bard Hessel Museum and Galleries, New York (2017); Museum De Wieger, The Netherlands (2017); Palais De La Culture Constantine, Algeria (2015); Pirineos Sur Festival, Spain (2015); Arab American National Museum, Michigan (2015); Abu Dhabi Festival (2015); Photo Shanghai (2014); Venice Art Gallery, Los Angeles (2013); University of Southampton (2013); Edge of Arabia, London (2012); HilgerBROTKunsthalle, Vienna (2012); Institut Du Monde Arabe, Paris (2012); Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah (2012); and Headlands Center for the Arts, California (2011). She has also exhibited at the Bronx Museum in NYC, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, CO. Her over 40 time-based works (video art and films) have screened in numerous film festivals internationally, including Mapping Subjectivity, MoMA (NYC), 24th Instants Video Festival (Mexico and France), Madrid Palestine Film Festival, Thessaloniki International Film Festival (Greece) and DOKUFEST (Kosovo). Her art residencies include Artpace International Artist Residency (San Antonio),  Darat al Funun (Amman), A.M. Qattan Foundation (Ramallah) and Lightwork (NY). 

Alshaibi's works have been collected by public institutions internationally, including the Center for Creative Photography (Tuscon), the Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell (NY), The Houston Museum of Art (Texas), Nadour (Germany), the Barjeel Collection (Sharjah), En Foco (NYC), and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Tunis (Tunisia). She has been featured in Photo District News, L’Oile de la Photographie, The Washington Post, Lensculture, NY Times, Ibraaz, Bluin Artinfo, Contact Sheet, Contemporary Practices, Harpar’s Bazaar, The Guardian, CNN, Huffington Post and Hysteria.

Born in Basra to an Iraqi father and Palestinian mother, Sama Alshaibi is based in the United States where she is Professor of Photography, Video and Imaging at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Alshaibi holds a BA in Photography from Columbia College and an MFA in Photography, Video, and Media Arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Alshaibi is represented by Ayyam Gallery, 2019. 

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ICYMI ...We. Are. Dead. 🤯
Thank you Gwen Stefani! We're so honored that you loved our performance. These students worked incredibly hard to create this show, and the feedback has been beyond rewarding. 🙏❤️
#grateful #thankyou #nodoubt
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