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Batoul Ballout

Nerve | 36″ x 46″ | Oil on Linen | 2020

Artist Statement

I was born in Lebanon and grew up under military occupation, war, and terrorist attacks. It was only with my family’s departure in 2014 that we escaped decades of acute and shocking episodic violence. My displacement and immigration to the USA created further interior schisms. These themes take physical shape in the studio through art-making as a mode of resistance. I activate the human presence/absence in my work to examine bridging past, present, and future belonging. I explore the poetic potentialities and mutual existence of oil paint, construction materials, personal clothing items, luggage, etc., evoking embedded patterns of trauma in the conscious and subconscious mind. My work alludes to memories, perception, and lingering feelings along with questioning where and when, if ever, the tether of home can be reattached.

Artwork/s at the following locations:
N’Namdi Center For Contemporary Art

MR/QD Is Made Possible BY

Artists stipends made possible by Kresge Arts in Detroit

For details and more info on making a contribution to Mighty Real/Queer Detroit, please contact us at

About MR/QD

Mighty Real/Queer Detroit is an art exhibition in June 2022 devoted to 77 years (1945-2022) of Detroit LGBTQ+ art 

The exhibition presents a month-long historical examination of the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and its longtime allies, featuring established & emerging Detroit artists, as well as artists whose careers were shortened by HIV/AIDS.

Mighty Real/Queer Detroit is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to promoting positive and meaningful images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through artistic and intellectual means. © 2023. All Rights Reserved.