Khaled Jarrar was born in Jenin, Occupied Palestine in 1976. He lives and works in New York City. Jarrar completed his studies in interior design at Palestine Polytechnic University in 1996. Upon graduating he smuggled himself to work as a carpenter in Nazareth, living as an underground “illegal” worker. In 1998 Jarrar enlisted in an intensive military training which resulted in working for Arafat as a personal body guard until Arafat’s death in 2004. Attempting to create a life between the military and an artistic practice, Jarrar entered the field of photography in 2005. Jarrar graduated from the International Academy of Art – Palestine, Ramallah in 2011 and completed an MFA in fine art from the University of Arizona in 2019.
Jarrar, a multidisciplinary artist, explores modern power struggles and their sociocultural impact on ordinary citizens through highly symbolic photographs, videos, film, and performative interventions. His State of Palestine project was featured in the 7th Berlin Biennale. Where We Lost Our Shadows, his filmic collaboration with Pulitzer prize winning composer Du Yun, was shown at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Jarrar’s work has been featured at Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah; the New Museum, New York City; the University of Applied Arts, Vienna; the 15th Jakarta Biennale; 52nd October Salon, Belgrade; Al-Ma’mal Foundation, Jerusalem; and the London Film Festival. Infiltrators, Jarrar’s first feature length film, was a documentary about the business of Palestinian’s “illegally” crossing and won the FIPRESCI Award for Best Documentary, Jury Special Award and the Muhr Arab Documentary Special Jury Prize at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2012. Notes on Displacement, his second feature length, about a Palestinian refugee’s flight from Syria to Germany, will receive a world premier at the IDFA Envision Competition in November 2022.