Khalid AlBaih is a Sudanese artist and political cartoonist, born in Bucharest, Romania, raised in Doha, Qatar and living in Copenhagen, Denmark. Khalid publishes his cartoons on social media under Khartoon!, a word play on cartoon and Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.
Khalid is taking part in a month-long Freedom residency in New York with ArtX and the Artists at Risk Connection (ARC). He considers himself a virtual revolutionist, publishing his political cartoons about life in the Arab world on international blogs and websites. He is currently resident in Copenhagen as part of the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN). His work champions freedom of expression in the Arab world and beyond. Khalid, like many other artists and world influencers have been pushing for #BlueforSudan social media campaign to show solidarity with pro- democracy protesters in Sudan, says:
“This is a very important time for the Sudanese diaspora to communicate with international cities like New York. I feel a responsibility to stand up for those fighting for freedom and hope in my country. Despite the backlash, Sudanese pro-democracy groups have persevered in their peaceful resistance, sometimes paying with their lives. Despite the anger and pain of losing friends and family, there is no turning back and there is no changing direction at this point. As Malcom X advised, “"Stumbling is not falling" and it is now more important than ever for the international cultural and media community to amplify the voices of those fighting for their freedom on the ground. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and we stand on the side of all oppressed people around the world.”
A photographer by trade, Phoenix Eisenberg is a New York native who developed a connection to the city’s growing street art community and, at 21, began photographing local artists, specifically in the 5 Pointz area. In 2011, Phoenix initiated the Save 5 Pointz group to bring the case to public attention, which in turn led to a lawsuit and a multi-million dollar settlement in favour of the artists. Before establishing ArtX, Phoenix ran his own cultural space across from the Whitney Museum called Redbird Gallery, showing some of the biggest names in the international street art community, from South Africa to Nigeria to Brazil.
Stephen Stapleton is an artist and founding director of Edge of Arabia, The Crossway Foundation, and CULTURUNNERS. After an artist’s journey across the Middle East in 2003, he founded Edge of Arabia as a first-of-its-kind contemporary art platform for cultural exchange between the Arab and Western world. He has produced over 50 landmark international exhibitions including at Museums and Biennales in London, New York, Venice, Istanbul, Berlin, Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah, Miami, Aspen, Houston, Oslo, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Detroit, Memphis, Lewiston, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles.