Born in 1966, Gaza, Palestine; lives and works between Paris (France) and Palestine.
Taysir Batniji studied art at the university of Al-Najah in Naplouse, and then he continued his studies in France at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Bourges, at the University Paris 8 in Saint-Denis, and at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Marseille.
In 2011 Taysir Batniji received the Abraaj Group Art Prize. In 2017 he is the winner of the immersion residency program of the Hermès (Paris) and Aperture (NYC) foundations. He participated in many international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale in 2003, 2009 and 2011, the Biennial of Istanbul in 2011, the Biennial of Sharjah in 2007, and the Thessaloniki Biennale in 2015. In 2017, he took part in the exhibition “Soulèvements (Uprisings)” at the Jeu de Paume museum in Paris.
By focusing on displacement, mobility and obstacles, Taysir Batniji documents in a very sensitive and anti-spectacular way the daily reality of the Palestinian people. Witnessing the social, political and cultural situation of Palestinians, his work reflects as well his own situation: that of a Palestinian artist on the Western art scene.
Filming or taking pictures in areas of transit between Egypt and Gaza is forbidden. This film deals with the difficulty, or even impossibility of mobility that concerns current day Palestinians.
“Transit is part of a reflection I have carried out since 1997 on notions of involuntary or voluntary displacement and travel. I am especially interested in the state of the in-between: in-between identities, in-between cultures. (...) As an unauthorized video-maker, passenger among passengers, I distinguish myself from photojournalists or reporters as I do not represent a government or an ideology. The slow succession of clumsily framed fixed images where nothing happens except the waiting of passengers are also a contrast to “spectacularized” events generally hunted down by emissaries of mass media. Nonetheless, I try to document a current issue from the inside: life of Palestinians (and others) who daily try to cross borders that are tightly controlled by the power of the military.” T.B.