Yara Said (1991), ‘stressing the ‘i’ in “Said” to sound like a letter explicit to one region of the world, the Middle east, is a multidisciplinary artist currently based in Amsterdam. Yara translates and reinterprets her surrounding environment, departing from the direct expression of painting and her passion for making. Yara’s practice unfolds in different outcomes yet always in relation to sound. By navigating between sonic flows the artist addresses daily encounters, opening a political space of imagination upon identity politics and questioning aesthetics of representation. In her work, both as an artist and as an organizer, she always finds herself drawn to the act of hospitality, not only in the literal meaning but also conceptually.
Currently, the artist is interested in documenting noise within urban structures and researching frequencies that stimulate emotions and propose questions of political and social nature. Furthermore, Said is committed to understanding how certain sonic acts can be used both as terror and liberation mechanisms and how one sound can produce such contrasting dichotomy in global narratives. Yara offers a femme gaze on a topic that is saturated with imagery of blood, cries, and turmoil hoping to open an honest and caring space of contemplation and understanding of the current political and social global injustice.
For the artist, noise is connected to otherness (different languages, cultural behaviors, ethnicities, etc) and her inspiration is drawn from industrial noises, the breath of the city, shouts, hugs, death, (non)linear disrupted narratives, and emotion in relation to trauma and grief.
Said - also known as Noise Diva - transcends preconceptions and blurs the lines of her art through different mediums such as video, sound, painting, performance, installations, writing, DJing, and music production.
Said received a golden design award at Lyonnes design festival (2017), was nominated by the Design Museum for Beazley Designs of the Year (2017) and by European Design (2018) with the refugee Nation flag for Amnesty International, which marked the participation of the first-ever refugee team in the 2016 Olympics.
She is also the co-founder and artistic director (2018-2021) of SALWA|Amsterdam (The Netherlands), a foundation that develops programs for artists with a migrant background, offering an entry point for emerging artists into the Dutch cultural scene.
Yara Said’s practice has been awarded (2021-2022) with the talent development program - The 3Package Deal - a joint venture by Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst (AFK) and Bureau Broedplaatsen (BBp) in collaboration with Framer Framed, Waag, Hackers&Designers (Amsterdam, The Netherlands).
Yara’s work has been presented in several dutch referential platforms such as Nieuwe Dakota, Stedelijk Museum and Arti et Amicitiae, among others. Internationally, her work has been presented in institutions such as MOMA (USA) and Victoria and Albert Museum (UK) besides other art spaces in the UK, Norway, Germany, and Lebanon.
Yara Said holds a Bachelor in Painting from the University of Damascus (2014 - Syria) and a Master in Fine Arts from Sandberg Instituut (2020 - NL).