Face Mask

Keffiyeh mask to protect both health and identity

Half a decade before the Covid19-pandemic, Gaza-born artist Mohammed Musallam created a face mask based on traditional keffiyeh design. The conceptual artwork could be seen both as an expression of Palestinian identity, and as a means of protection; caring for identity is as important as protecting health. The mask was first used in Gazan hospitals under siege. At the time of conception, it was impossible to foresee the impact of Covid19; this face mask shows the power of artistic imagination. The artwork did not lose any of its meaning; on the contrary.

Gaza’s potentially disastrous combination of widespread poverty, densely-packed refugee camps and extremely limited hospital capacity make us even more aware of the catastrophic impact of the illegal occupation, and how fragile life can be. Caring for each other is more important than ever. 

Under Musallam’s supervision, the new masks were produced in Gaza City by tailor Abu Alaa Ghaben; to be worn for your safety and as an act of solidarity.

Read review in The Art Newspaper, June 2020


  • Mohammed Musallam (PS)

    Mohammed Musallam was born in Gaza in 1974 after his family had been dislocated from the historic Palestine as a consequent of the 1948 war. He holds a PhD in philosophy of Fine Arts, Painting Department, Fine Arts College, Minia University, Egypt. He currently resides in Gaza and works there as a lecturer of “Painting and the History of Palestinian Arts” at the College of Arts, Al Aqsa University. From his first steps as a university student he became greatly influenced by the abstract art processes and approaches. In his Art, he focuses on portraying a range of humanistic issues, which go beyond the limitations imposed by any prevailing time-related matters, which may be oppressive and persistent simultaneously. At the same time, he concentrates on conveying the notion of the preservation of our humaneness amid the harshness of our environment as one of the most important reasons for our existence.


  • 2020

    Multi layered face-mask (front side keffiyeh textile, backside white cotton) with elastic straps, washable & reusable

    19 x 9 cm