my light is your light…

A light-installation by alaa minawi
Premiered November 29 at Amsterdam Light Festival 2014

When people are forced to leave their cities, they do not only leave their homes, belongings, schools, favorite toys and friends and neighbors behind… They actually leave their skin and organs and memories. They transform into outlines of a radiating light.

They walk, whispering one thing: my light is your light…

alaa minawi’s latest light-installation premiered at the third edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival last November 29, 2014 through January 6, 2015. The installation entitled my light is your light… is one of 30 different installations that have been selected out of over 360 concepts that were presented by artists from around the world.

my light is your light… is a tribute to the Syrian refugees who have been going through extremely painful humanitarian conditions. It is also a tribute to every refugee in general who transforms into a radiating outline of a human once he/she is forced out from home, for his/her story craves to shine on throughout the world.

example 1 - Copyright Janus van den Eijnden (6)© Janus van den Eijnden


alaa minawi resides in Lebanon; a country that has vast borders with Syria. With the plight of many Syrian families and individuals finding refuge in Lebanon (some estimates speak of over 1.5 million persons), alaa has been working as a freelance interpreter with Syrian, Iraqi and Sudanese refugees. The work comes with an approach to further understand what it is that these refugees have succumbed to on the ground, but also what it is that they aspire to. He has interpreted for more than 1000 families, and has during this process noticed that refugees, who are almost always susceptible to their reality, can easily be ‘detected’. They have an aura; some kind of glow that radiates from within them. alaa began to construct his installation around the concept of refugees embodying outlines of a fragile light.

Every refugee comes with an extraordinary story to tell, and one that almost seeps out of their bodies… They are eager to try and tell the world what has occurred, and what is occurring. alaa minawi is himself a Palestinian refugee, his father was a refugee, and so was his grandfather.

More - Copyright Janus van den Eijnden (4)© Janus van den Eijnden

More - Copyright Janus van den Eijnden (7)© Janus van den Eijnden


The figures are of sizes that range between 75cm and 180cm. Each are placed on a metal platform that is 15 x 40 x 60 cm and the overall weight of each figure varies between 35 and 45 kilograms. The figures are waterproof and will be presented both indoors and outdoors.


About alaa minawi…

alaa.ps3.1© Nada Ammous

alaa minawi (1982) is a visual artist currently living and working in Beirut, Lebanon as a lighting designer and writer. With a BA in Communication arts from the Lebanese American University, alaa has since 2006 worked in film, photography and theatre both in the Arab world and the USA with more than 300 different projects. alaa first started experimenting with light sources in 2010 and has since developed a number of different collaborations in the field of lighting-design with many established artists such as Robert Wilson, Jawad Al Assadi, Andrey Barteniv, Tania Saleh, Lina Abyad and many others.

alaa has also recently been working on his own artistic creations, in 2011 he started a sound and light experiment that lead to [piano in my pillow], a collaboration with improvisation pianist, Vladimir kurumilian,  and in 2013, his light installation ‘beyond myself…’ was successfully premiered during the Amsterdam Light Festival, where he returns this year with a second light-installation entitled ‘my light is your light…’

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