. Political Issues were formative in his personality, particularly during his mandatory service in the Syrian military. Having painted the President’s picture over and over again, he knows how art is in itself a weapon, and this led to his decision to use that weapon to help those who have been victimized by it and to make it a medium of change. When the revolution began two years ago Khaled was in Damascus, taking part in the “peaceful struggle,” using art to make real change. In this dire time, the limits of creativity have been broadened out of necessity to survive for many Syrians. As suppression intensifies, the role of the responsible artist expands too, expanding into the roles of activist, artist, and that of a journalist; leading to new ways to communicate and change the narratives that have been imposed by the suppressors.
Presently, he is part of many civil groups in a bid to help the victims of war, one of which boasts a membership of over 400, including artists, writers, and filmmakers. Their voluntary work serves to maintain the peaceful nature of the revolution, and to temper the anger of the people, to avoid attacks and perhaps even civil war; they can see firsthand how an armed resistance can destroy a nation, but they need to preserve the rights of those in resistance to the dictatorship.
Barakeh believes that the overlap between his personal and academic background, has had a profound effect on his artistic practice. His works often include references to political issues, and tend to deal with current and pertinent concerns revolving around identity, cultural, and historical matters and even power structures.
For further information see: www.khaledbarakeh.com