Susanne Khalil Yusef

NL/PS, 1984
  • resident
    • 2022 – 2024

We, the undersigned resident artists, alumni and staff at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Against widespread media bias, tactical propaganda campaigns and a concerted effort by state governments to dehumanise Palestinian people and delegitimise their right to exist, we feel this is not a moment to stay silent, complacent or complicit. We reject the censorship of anyone speaking out against the violence being carried out against the Palestinian people. We understand the need to speak up in this moment where such censorship feels rampant and pervasive—not least in the cultural field, where many of our art worker colleagues are actively ostracized, belittled and penalized by those in positions of power, for proclaiming their solidarity with the oppressed.

The Palestinian people have the right to exist, the right to self-determination and the right to live meaningfully, peacefully and fearlessly. We find it urgent not only to lend our support in amplifying the voices of Palestinian people and their struggle, but to also clearly condemn the ongoing land occupation, destruction of homes and villages, apartheid, ethnic cleansing and genocide being carried out by the settler colonial state of Israel against the people of Palestine for more than 75 years.

We reject the narrative that criticism against the state of Israel and its ongoing practices of colonial violence is antisemitic. We condemn antisemitism, as well as islamophobia and all forms of racial, ethnic, religious, and cultural discrimination, and we condemn those who would use the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the siege of the Gaza Strip as a means of inciting any kind of discrimination, bigotry or harm.

At the time of writing this statement, since October 7, the Israeli Occupation Forces' ongoing bombing of Gaza and the West Bank has killed over 9,000 (including more than 3,500 children), injuring tens of thousands more, and displacing approximately 2.3 million Palestinian civilians.

Source: the Associated Press

This is a call for a ceasefire now, at the bare minimum.

This is a call for the end of the decades-long occupation and the ongoing genocide.

This is a call for artists, curators, museum staff, art collectors, funders and other art workers to stand up against bigotry and
indifference. The reluctance to speak out, fueled by a desire to maintain an apolitical image, perpetuates the suffering of those impacted by the ongoing violence in Palestine.

We clamour in solidarity for all oppressed and indigenous peoples striving for freedom.

In the hope of a free Palestine, and in the hope of a world free from colonial violence.


Susanne Khalil Yusef makes immersive colourful installations by combining a wide range of media such as ceramics, textiles, and sculpture. At first glance, Yusef’s brightly coloured work seems light-hearted and playful, but if you look closer it refers to distress and dangerous situations. She raises critical questions about themes such as homeland and displacement, identity and socio-geographic power relations. The stories in her work are closely related to her own biography, such as the conflicts in her home country, Palestine.

Yusef’s work has been included in the collections of the Museum Arnhem, the Dutch Textile Museum in Tilburg, and the Province of Gelderland.

Open Studios 2023

Over the past months I have been experimenting with sculpting portraits in virtual reality and making small 3D prints of them. Also I have machine-cut one of them into olivewood and another casted in bronze. To give colour I have made use of the spray-paint workshop here, to apply car paints on them. One of these portraits is currently part of the outdoor exhibition ‘Beelden in Leiden’.

Next to this, I made a large ceramic work by hand; it is covered with plastic as it is not yet finished but you can have a peek. Once finished, it will be presented coming July in the garden of Museum Arnhem. 

Something else I have tried for the first time is silkscreen printing. The result is an edition that consists of 12 layers that is for sale in the Rijksakademie gift shop. 

Other work in the studio was made earlier and gives an impression of what I was working on before my residency.  These works are made of bronze, aluminium, glass and textile. 

Open Archive

Gezichtsvinding (bronze)

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