24.04.24, 19:00, ‘OM (أُمّ, mother), Barbara Debeuckelaere, book presentation

On the occasion of the book launch of ‘OM, SAWT (Kamel Badarneh) takes us on an audiovisual journey of soundscapes and atmospheric ambient sounds combined with visual elements from the book. The performance, created for this evening, will be preceded by a conversation between Barbara Debeuckelaere, Aysha and Sondus al-Azza, and Brigitte Herremans about the making of the book, about love, art, and resistance.

OM ( أُمّ, Mother) is a collaborative photography project by the women of eight Palestinian families in the Tel Rumeida district in Hebron and photographer Barbara Debeuckelaere. Hebron and specifically Tel Rumeida is a kind of microcosm of the West Bank, home to some of the most radical settlers. The daily physical and verbal violence against the Palestinian population remains unpunished. With cameras in hand, the Palestinians show the outside world what is happening there.

With small, analog cameras, almost 50 women took images of their city, homes and family in September last year, just before the extreme violence broke out in Gaza. Collectively, these photos provide an intimate and intuitive portrait of their family life in the midst of violence and fear. They show the unpredictable character of the analogue, the light leaks, the mistakes, and embody the warm atmosphere of their homes but also the fact that these women have very little control over politics. Artist and activist Adam Broomberg calls it ‘a benevolent whisper’ in his text for the book. 'OM is a work of love and joy and resistance.

Two of the Palestinian women who were involved in the creation of ‘OM are present at the presentation in BOEKS and will engage in conversation with Barbara Debeuckelaere and Middle East expert Brigitte Herremans about the making of the book. Following this, Herremans will delve deeper into the potential of art as a means of resistance in conflict zones.

SAWT is the alias of Palestinian Brussels-based electronic music producer Kamel Badarneh. Making use of analogue machines and field recordings, SAWT aimes to create a sonic range where techno, ambient and experimental music meet in harmony. Especially for this book presentation, he has crafted a new audiovisual experience consisting of soundscapes and atmospheric ambient sounds. The sound travels back and forth through the forty-meter-long BOEKS corridor, complemented by visual elements from the ‘OM book.


a project by Barbara Debeuckelaere
in collaboration with Palestinian mothers

text by Adam Broomberg,Barbara Debeuckelaere, published by The Eriskay Connection
Campus Bijloke
Godshuizenlaan 2A
9000 Gent
book presentation, 19:30
performance SAWT, 20:30

'OM can be viewed and purchased at the counter of de Kunstenbibliotheek or online through The Eriskay Connection for €30.