„A unfamiliar German woman organized my first exhibition.“
Hello, my name is Barakat. I was born in 1945 in the City of Hama, Syria. I studied art education at the Universities of Hama and Aleppo and later thought painting and sculpture. I also wrote reviews for art journals in Syria. I also had a gallery in the beautiful old town of Hama. Two years after the start of the civil war, I moved to a village with my family and lived there for another two years. With the spread of the civil war, we were finally forced to leave Syria in 2015 and, with the help of relatives living in Europe, made our way across the Mediterranean to Europe. My daughter Dima managed to bring some of my works to Germany by plane. A total of 150 of my works, including 20 oil paintings, paper works and watercolors were saved. To this day I have no knowledge of the condition of the studio in Hama. When I arrived in Germany, I first had to deal with nerve-wracking bureaucratic tasks. At the same time I tried to learn German, which I found very difficult. Maybe my age is to blame; perhaps also the many hardships of the civil war and fights. In any case, the memories of the last few years, together with the impressions of this new environment, have driven me towards painting. In this scene, painting is a kind of balance for language for me. I also noticed that here in the West people also respect „ugly art“. Pictures and objects that do not necessarily have a pleasant effect on the mind. Above all, this means that the human being is a central theme in art. This broadening of perspective, in connection with the local climate, has probably influenced my painting, especially the color mood. The human being is also at the center of my art, yes, even I consider myself to be a primitive man in this sense, because I have no attachment to material things and only observe the essential. I am always curious about everything that surrounds people and always look for the essentials in the overlaps between different topics and aspects of life. I love painting all these impressions in an expressionistic abstract style. My first exhibition in Germany took place in the Galerie der 100 Brücken in Kalbe works with the help of the Berliner art teacher Hubert Schmiedleitner and the artist Annette Prüfer. The artist couple had contacted me through my son. Since then I have organized six exhibitions of my work in Germany and sent some of my paintings to Canada for two group exhibitions. I have been looking for a studio with cheap rent for some time. At the same time, I am trying to get to know the art scene here in Berlin. I spend most of my time with cultural programs, visiting exhibitions, museums, music events or the theatre. I have often observed and was impressed by the fact that Germany offers cultural programs for everyone; that there is no hierarchy between social classes and everything is available for everyone. Every kind of work is respected and valued here. I find this kind of politeness in dealing with people very nice and typically German. I now feel comfortable and at home in Germany and am not thinking of living anywhere else.