Karim Ben Khelifa

undisciplined artist

For the past quarter century, my pursuit as a non fiction storyteller has been to render the intangible tangible, with the specter of war as my enduring subject. Over these years, my cameras have captured the harrowing realities of conflict for newspapers and magazines.

After more than 15 years as a war photographer, in 2013, I ventured into the realm of immersive media, creating and directing "The Enemy," an unprecedented, location-based, multi-user virtual reality experience. This pioneering project premiered in 2017 at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, subsequently  being presented in museums and festivals across Europe, North America, and Asia.

In 2021, I unveiled "Seven Grams," a mobile application. Through augmented reality, it unravels the story of our smartphones, exposing the harsh truths faced by Congolese artisanal miners who extract the rare metals essential that power our digital existence.

Since 2022, my journey has taken a transformative turn. I have embraced the role of an artist, yet remain tethered to the domain of non-fiction. This new practice grants me the freedom to explore the invisible facets of war, weaving them into the fabric of my work without the constraints of journalistic ethics.

Through this evolution, I have discerned that to truly depict war, one must harness the power of the public's imagination. "In 36,000 Ways", my inaugural solo exhibition in Berlin, embodies this revelation and is the first attempt to reach such a goal. 

It showcases shrapnels, missile debris I have collected on the frontline of Southern Ukraine. Seeking with this project to create a visceral testament to the chaos of conflict and the banality of evil for the engineers designing and enabling fragmentation weaponry to always be more efficient, more indiscriminate and more lethal.

Currently, I have several projects in my pipeline, each intricately linked to the theme of warfare. I am also open to collaboration on projects so feel free to reach out at karim_bk (at) mit (dot) edu. 

And to stay abreast of future announcements, Instagram remains the most reliable channel.