“There is no I but I”by Kamal Boullata


“I keep reminding myself that Jerusalem is not behind me, it is constantly ahead of me.”

Born in Jerusalem in 1942, Kamal Boullatais a brilliant artist and historian. His intricate artwork merges classic geometric prints, Arabic calligraphy and Palestinian symbols all under a common theme of Palestinian identity through solidarity and exile.

As a young boy, Boullata studied under painter Khalil Halabi of Jerusalem, refining his innate talent. He would spend hours in front of the Dome of the Rock, studying and admiring its hypnotizing designs, which continue to have a central influence on his work.

Boullata’s artistic academic pursuits have taken him across the globe. From Jerusalem, Boullatamoved to Washington DC to attend the Academy of Rome and the Corcoran Art Museum School. After graduating in 1993, he studied Islamic art in Morocco as a Fulbright fellow. In Morocco, Boullata studied and published pieces on contemporary Arabic art and cultural perceptions of color in linguistics. Later, he moved to the United States under a Ford Foundation grant and studied post-Bysantine Palestinian art. He has been published ubiquitously and he continues to contribute tremendously to academia. His publications include Palestinian Art: From 1850 to the Present and Belonging and Globalisation: Critical Essays in Contemporary art and Culture. Boullata is also the author of Faithful Witnesses: Palestinian Children Recreate Their World (1990) and Recovery of Place: A Study of Contemporary Palestinian Art (2000).

Boullata is currently a fellow at The Wissenschaftskollegzu Berlin, the Institute of Advanced Study. However his legacy continues to have a global impact. His work is displayed at several locations, including:

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