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Refresh Amsterdam # 2

Bidnan3eesh – بدنا نعيش (WE WANT TO LIVE), 2022

The neon artwork with the Arabic words بدنا نعيش (We want to live) was created by visual artist Susanne Khalil Yusef. The neon design is based on the handwritten words of Hamza, an artist friend of Khalil Yusef who lives in the Gaza Strip. “We want to live” is the desperate appeal that inspired her to produce this work of art. Under the Israeli occupation of Palestine, living conditions are poor and unsafe, often a lifelong reality for many inhabitants.

As a counterpart to this violence, Khalil Yusef creates seemingly cheerful installations in which she uses an abundance of color and diverse materials, from carpet, glass, and ceramics to video work. Behind her brightly hued works lurks a world of menace, displacement, and fear.

The installation We Come in Pieces (2023) by Khalil Yusef can be seen at the Amsterdam Museum.

This work is part of the art presentation Refresh Amsterdam #2, in which artists, selected through an open call, create work highlighting Amsterdam’s urban culture. The theme of this second edition is War & Conflict. Refresh Amsterdam is an initiative of the Amsterdam Museum, in cooperation with more than 20 cultural institutions in the city. For more information, see www.amsterdammuseum.nl.