A London-based contemporary artist, Alketa Xhafa Mripa passionately talks about her artistic projects and the immeasurable power of art to create social change. At a time when many countries have shot their doors to the cries of refugees, Alketa’s mobile installation “Refugees Welcome”, builds upon Alketa's own experience of arriving in the UK as a refugee in the late 1990s and aims at raising awareness on the topic.
In ‘Thinking of You’, 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. Alketa is a Kosovar contemporary artist based in London. She studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, before going on to study History of Art at the Tate Modern, London. 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 Berlin, London, Italy, Portugal and her native Kosovo, where she gained wider recognition for her art installation ‘Thinking of You’.
Taking multiple forms, including films and installations, paintings and photography, her art promotes women’s liberation and independence, shining a spotlight on the reductionist behavior of oppressive societies. In her current, ongoing work, titled ‘Refugees Welcome’, Alketa seeks to recreate the welcoming feeling she herself experienced when she was new to the UK.