Challenging situations often drive creativity. So too, does solitude. 27-year-old Palestinian artist and photographer Nidaa Badwan lives in Gaza, an area long rife with conflict and oppression. To escape the suffering in Gaza, Badwan decided to isolate herself in her room for over a year.
During this time, she grew personally through a series of beautiful self-portraits that reveal the colorful space she created for herself. Her room became a safe haven from the outside world, where she could become anyone she wanted by simply setting up scenes and clicking her camera.
Badwan has always been making art, painting as a child and later moving into photography and film. It was her role as a female artist that first sparked her solitary stint: after being harassed by local officers while helping with a youth arts program, Badwan had had enough. In Gaza, as she explains, “a woman and an artist at the same time — this is a catastrophe.”
She retreated to her room, which she reportedly only left twice during the next 15 months. This act of rebellion was driven by a need to find whatever freedom she could. While the first two months were filled with depression and anxiety, she soon turned to photography for salvation. ”Slowly, slowly, I started to love isolation,” she shares. By shaping her room into a makeshift creative sanctuary, a sort of self-imposed artist residency began to take place. “I was able to convert my room into a studio, a workplace, and an area where I can practice my hobbies. I’m satisfied and I don’t need anything from the outside world.”
Via: Nidaa Badwan