Graphic Novelist and Artist
From March 8 to March 22, 2019
Graphic novelist, painter and illustrator Hamid Sulaiman was born in Damascus in 1986. He graduated in architecture and art from the University of Damascus in 2010. After the outbreak of the civil war in 2011, he was temporarily imprisoned and eventually fled via Jordan to Egypt and from there to Germany and France. His debut graphic novel about the Syrian war, Freedom Hospital (2016), was published to wide critical acclaim and described as a “dark masterpiece about the world war at our doorstep” by Tobias Rapp in Der Spiegel, and as a “powerful tale of Syria’s descent into cataclysm” by Joe Sacco. Its translation into English, published by Penguin, won the 2017 PEN Translates Award and the book has so far been translated into French, German and Italian. Hamid Sulaiman’s work has exhibited worldwide and was acquired by the British Museum. He is currently working on a second graphic novel which delves into the contemporary fascination with tattoo.
Hamid Sulaiman’s participation in Kosmopolis is part of the project Literary Europe Live Plus supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and organised by Literature Across Frontiers.
‘With the intimacy of a person who has lived the tragedy himself but with the restraint of a true artist, Hamid Sulaiman tells a powerful tale of Syria’s descent into cataclysm while reminding us of those still tending the seeds of the revolutionary spring.’
During my Faber residency I will focus on a new graphic novel with the working title Fill-IN about his journey into the world of tattoo, its history and social meaning, contemporary fascination and popularity, and about developing his own skill and knowledge of tattooing as an extension of his art.