Najib Joe Hakim

Sending Wings instead of Arms

Digital Compositions Using Photographs

“I explore migration, borders, the environment and conflict. I was inspired by the free movement of migrating birds. In this case, they fly over a border-less map of the Middle East – a region consumed by borders and conflict.” “Maps most often provide vital information regarding borders, topography and location. However, artificial borders (lines drawn on a map) are usually employed to divide us with physical, political and psychological consequences that transcend generations. Without borders, we rely on the natural elements to determine our place just as migratory birds or insects do. Imagining a world without artificial borders is to imagine the end of the scourge of nationalism. In this border-less map of Palestine and the Fertile Crescent, the birds suggest freedom of movement, direction and perspective with the hope of liberating us all from another scourge – war.”



“Horizons” is a solarized triptych of successive frames on a roll of film.

“Horizons” does not celebrate the wonderful successes of migrants who have “made it”. Rather the focus is more on the unsettling process or journeys these people must survive before they can begin to establish new homes in a new land. “Horizons” shows a Palestinian mother and her two young children disappearing over the horizon. Where are they headed? Why? Will they be accepted? What has become of them?




Digital Compositions Using Photographs

Migration is as natural as water flowing downstream, as a flock of birds in flight. The birds suggest freedom of movement and direction – something so many humans dream of.


Najib Joe Hakim works as a documentary and editorial photographer. He is a Political Art Fellow at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the recipient of the 2020 Rebuilding Alliance Storytellers Award for his Home Away from Home: Little Palestine by the Bay project and also a past nominee for the US Artist Fellowship. Hakim can be reached through his website



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