Mohamad Hafez is an artist and architect born in Damascus and educated in the United States. In his Baggage series (2 & 3) and UNPACKED: Refugee Bagage series, Hafez utilizes the suitcase to explore both the politics and personal losses of compulsory departure. By sculpturally re-creating rooms, homes, buildings and landscapes that have suffered the ravages of war, Hafez creates visual models of life narratives experienced by refugees fleeing conflict. In the process, he seeks to humanize the word “refugee.”
Hafez is the recipient of the 2018 Connecticut Arts Hero Award for his extensive body of work on the Syrian civil war and the worldwide refugee crisis, and was selected as one of the 40 under 40 artists in the Middle East by London’s Apollo Magazine in 2019. He has exhibited internationally, including at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; Sharjah Art Museum, UAE; Saatchi Art Gallery, London; and Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis. He is currently an Interpreter in Residence at the University of Chicago Oriental Institute.