"Works like this can simplify and do things in a visual, performative way that arguments can't settle and word's can't decide. It's a way of helping people understand things that goes beyond words."
- Bob Dickinson, Art Monthly
Alketa Xhafa Mripa is an internationally-recognised artist and activist whose work deals with human rights, identity, memory, gender and, migration, among others. She has been active for over 15 years through various mixed media installations, painting, video and photography.
Alketa is also one of Kosovo’s most influential voices who through her art and activism has contributed in empowering women and stigmatised communities. A bold messenger for activist art and a desire to visualise what words cannot, she has been acknowledged as a passionate advocate of the truth and human rights.
Born and raised in Kosovo, Alketa moved to London in 1997 to study Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. Arriving as a student, Alketa became a refugee when the 1998-1999 Kosovo war broke out.
Since then she has displayed her multi-faceted work in exhibitions across Europe including Germany, France, UK, Italy, Portugal, Austria and her native Kosovo, where she gained wider recognition for her art installation ‘Thinking of You’ in 2015. In this giant installation Alketa used a Kosovan football stadium as her canvas, which she painted with thousands of donated dresses in a powerful tribute to survivors of sexual violence, aiming to pierce the silence surrounding wartime rape.
Taking multiple forms, including films and installations, paintings and photography, her art promotes women’s liberation and independence, shining a spotlight on the reductionist behaviour of oppressive societies. She is as well a strong feminist and motivated from her being a mother. Throughout the years motherhood has allowed her to think from perspectives which give her space to think about women in general. Alketa's strong ties to feminism have brought on a bigger responsibility to her role as an artist as her work, for the most part, involves vulnerable communities of women, including female survivors of sexual violence and wartime rape who still suffer from social stigmas.
Collaboration and participation are also essential to Alketa's work. Involving other communities and people in general is always important for her and she believes her art has more passion when others are involved. She says where language fails, art can break through.
Alketa currently lives in London working across art projects both in Europe and worldwide continuing to fight for equality, justice and difference.