From Al Kufrah to Paris: Shadi Al Zaqzouq lives in Paris since 2007 where he studies Plastic Arts at the University Paris 8.
Shadi was born on June 27, 1981 in Al Kufrah, in the Libyan Desert, of a gazaoui mother and an Egypt-born father from a Palestinian refugee family native to Jaffa and exiled in Egypt in 1948. At the end of the 70’s, his parents move to Libya where Khadafy promotes the venue of Palestinian intellectuals, and become teachers.
As a child, Shadi already paints, on the walls of his bedroom and on his schoolbooks. The inhabitants of Al Kufrah call upon his talents to draw on the city walls the name of Allah, the face of Yasser Arafat, Mickey Mouse or Ali Baba. During his childhood, he travels every 3 years to Gaza, and will experiment the first Intifada during his holidays.
Back to Gaza: After the Oslo agreement in 1993, as numerous Palestinians, Shadi, his five brothers and his mother go back to Gaza and settle in a neighbourhood named Zeitoun in Gaza City. His father will have to wait nearly a year before being able to enter Gaza and join them.
Shadi, painter and musician: In 1999, he graduates from high school and decides to go for Music studies. He chooses an unusual instrument for the Gaza strip, the classical guitare. After his graduation, he becomes a music teacher in a primary school. Nevertheless, he continues to paint in the attic of the family house, where he expresses his deep feeling of injustice. He gets his inspiration from the streets he paces mainly at night. He surrounds himself with many friends, mainly musicians, and joins in 2002 the group “Windows from Gaza for Contemporary Arts”, with whom he often goes to the French Cultural Centre of Gaza. This is where his first exhibition will take place, with his project “Gaza Upside Down” that will be exhibited all around Palestine.
In 2006, he receives a prize from the French Consulate and the Al Qattan Foundation : a 6-month artistic residency in Paris.