Mohammad Bin Lamin 43, Artist/Sculptor, Misrata From The Book: Shabab Altoura: Their Story By: Tracey Shelton

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Mohammad Bin Lamin 43, Artist/Sculptor, Misrata From The Book: Shabab Altoura: Their Story By: Tracey Shelton

On the night of February 20, 2011, Mohammad Bin Lamin knelt
before his captures. A black hood covered his head. He heard the
click as they loaded the gun and told him he was about to die.
“It was a horrible night,” was his only comment on the terror that
must have consumed him. He had been arrested along with his brother Habib on February 16, the night before anti-government protests broke out across the country. The Lamin family was well known for their anti-government stand. Mohammad had been active in denouncing the government and calling for protests on Facebook.

“The first step for the Gaddafi regime was to try to catch people who could be active in starting a revolution,” Mohammad said.
Police, led by Mohammad’s neighbor, a “notorious bad guy”, broke into the art gallery and workshop where Mohammad has spent more than a decade creating sculptures and paintings.
The brothers were taken to Abu Salim, the most notorious prison in Libya. The mock execution took place several days later.

Mohammad was born in 1969, the year Gaddafi took power.
“They told me I of all people should be grateful to Gaddafi for the country I was born in to,” Mohammad said. “I am the whole story of Gaddafi’s reign – my body, my soul can attest to his tyranny.” Mohammad survived the night and was returned to his tiny cell that he shared with his brother.

Prisoners were only allowed out of their cells for interrogation.
Desperate for a creative outlet Mohammad began sculpting his
aluminum food trays into portraits of fellow inmates and jailers, and using them as pens to draw on his cell walls. Mohammad said he was confronted about his drawings several times but mostly they were too busy to notice.

“Some were Ok, but most of them were not human. Especially when they had bad news about a Thuwar [revolutionary] advance. They would open the cells and start kicking and beating us. Other times we would hear NATO bombing outside and cry ‘Allah Akbar’ – God is greatest – so they would punish us.” News slowly filtered in through new prisoners. Whispered messages were passed from cell to cell.
“We heard the noises of war around us. We were sure Tripoli would fall but we did not know what our fate would be. Would they kill us all? Would the rebels reach us in time?”
On August 23, more than six months after Mohammad’s arrest, the guards fled Abu Salim. The following day, the rebels arrived.
“We heard the cry of Allah Akbar so we knew it was real,” Mohammad recalled.

The following day, Mohammad was reunited to his family who had for 6 months feared he had already been executed. After a decade of trying to have children Mohammad found himself reunited with a very pregnant wife. She had discovered her pregnancy shortly after Mohammad’s arrest.

On October 8, the week before Gaddafi’s capture and death she
gave birth to twin girls. “My daughters are a gift from God, my treatment for all my pain. When I look into their eyes I can forget all things.”

Mohammad now makes artwork from remnants of war, sculpting
objects designed to kill into symbols of love and beauty.









1- Abu Salim Prison
“I shared this cell with my brother. I used our aluminuim food containers as pencils to draw on the walls. When I ran out of
space I remember wishing they’d change my cell so I would have more space to draw,” Mohammad Bin Lamin

2- “I drew the prison cell surrounded
by flowers as a symbol of hope.
When the guards looked through
the window of our cell door they
would see this image. I wanted them
to know that I am not sad, but it was
an honor to be here for Libya,”
Mohammad Bin Lamin.

3- “Sculpting from remnants of war is about
transforming something created to kill into
something of beauty – a symbol of love,
dance, humanity,”
Mohammad Bin Lamin
This piece shows the cross section of a 14.5mm anti aircraft
bullet. The crystal is from the Libyan dessert.

4- Soldiers
This piece is called the collapse of the
genocide battalions. It represents Gaddafi’s
troops as they were defeated by the
revolutionaries,” Mohammad Bin Lamin

5- The pieces are not rigid and Mohammad
spends hours rearranging each piece to
create different scenes.

6- “I like to incorporate objects of Libyan history in my work. For this piece I used an ancient stone from the Southern Libyan desert,”
Mohammad Bin Lamin

7- “This is part of a series that represents the Libyan
rebel fighters. In this piece you see a fighter
facing amputation,” Mohammad Bin Lamin

8- “I call this series Dance in Angelical Orbit,” Mohammad Bin Lamin

9- “This series represents the bond
between a mother and child
and the way a mother will
protect her children from
danger in any crisis,”
Mohammad Bin Lamin

10-Faces of War
“This is part of a Beretta gun that was struck
by NATO in a store house for Gaddafi’s men.
I liked the face that appeared in the ruins,”
Mohammad Bin Lamin

11- “This is part of a Beretta gun
that was struck by NATO in a
store house for Gaddafi’s men.
I liked the face that appeared
in the ruins,”
Mohammad Bin Lamin

12- “My daughters are a gift from
God, my treatment for all my
pain. When I look into their
eyes I can forget all things,”
Mohammad Bin Lamin

The Three Eras for a dream

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The Three Eras for a dream

Poem and Artworks By: Mohammad Bin Lamin.

Translated from Arabic by: Solara Sabah.


1. The Amulet Time

His blue Amulet did not save him from the act of the sea,

neither did the white one.

They did not soothed him from the flares of

the land.

They did not stop the temptation of the waves

and the curse of whiteness or cured him from the sun’s ailments.

He was saved by the worries of the mothers who were

lingering near the oven to steal from it the mercy of the bread.

Or maybe he was saved by the mother’s supplications in the half darkness

behind the spindle of  the wool’s mats,

praying to God to safeguard him

from the Beasts of the darkness,

the evil eyes, and  the ferocity of the envy.


2. The Solitude Time

And you’re a very obdurate!

You have never been bind by phylactery or by Fakih’s mantra

you saved your  steps

for the mint fragrance road and the accompaniment clouds.

Holding back your right hand

to greet the person of your dream,

To embrace the surface of the water,

Promising your heart to meet the spring and the temptation of the daffodils,

Rolling your eyes inside,

Laughing and crying.

Lighting the daytime by the sun,

Dripping the stars in the night,

and dangling from the moon!

Obstinately in love.

Your dream has taken by your pride

Descending into the illusion that one day it will come

with a dark eyes

elegant and tall

with a small bird hovering on the head.


Dancing and asking for the mercy.

The dance of the slaughterous

The mercy of the dust,

A resurgence of desperate love!


3. The Exudes Time

Hold on tight to your luggage!

You have to endorse your travel,

the nudge of the stations,

The noisiness of the railroads crossings;

and the dreariness of the passages and the tunnels.

Flying and sailing.Mingling with foreign seaports,

The dead dreams and the glasses of wanderers wine.

Dancers floating in the drum of the water.

The first lament for the homelandlurking from under the feet.

Where ever you go the land looks the same.

Strange as it should be,

You will never be familiar with this existing world.

you will be welcomed by the uncertainty of the empty rooms,

the shared houses,

the dispirited parks

And the ugly elderly women

The owners of the homes who will prohibited you from being late at night.

Just be as you are

lost between the distractions of the eyes and the lust of the dreams.

poor fellow as in the prayer.

Knight at the wedding extravaganza.

Taken by different visions,

and the fluctuated news.

Slaughtered by friends knifes

and deceived by the wooden rifles

How will you enjoy the night

As they do each day?

And how the moon complains of its nostalgia for the beautiful face?

You are doomed!

consumed by the timeas a coffee drunk in a hurry .

Blown by the wind as a nuisance Southern dust,

that will never whisk off by the country broom

Wake up and go on!

Your cold hands and these doors cannot endure the knocking,

neither the ceiling and the walls,

Forsake this dream of yours

and leave as those who left before you,

No need for the blame

Just wait with patience and eternal gaze.


Prison in Paradise

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Prison in Paradise
2012 Digital Art
By Mohammad Bin Lamin

Hidden Libyan Art

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Hidden Libyan Art: Mohammed Bin Lamin

Jul 8, 2011By Ghazi Gheblawi

Cultural Blog | مدونة ثقافية

For decades many aspects of Libyan culture has been overshadowed by the images and manifestations of the Gaddafi tyrannical regime. Libyan writers and artists became a rare breed, stricken with oppression, poverty, and above all ignorance and neglect.

I am trying with this series of posts on (Imtidad) to present the hidden face of Libyan art and artists, that began to breath the fresh air of freedom, and are looking forward to enjoy more open, inspirational, creative atmosphere, enabling them to be part of the social, and cultural changes that Libya will be undergoing in the next few years.

“Today, I call you in and draw upon my colour, love and brandings of the heart canvas; rising at your revelation threshold, pure white on the veil of the other painting.” -Mohammed Bin Lamin
Mohammed Bin Lamin, is a Libyan artist that draws inspiration from his environment and surroundings, born and raised in Misurata, Libya’s third largest city, he embodied a combination of the rural and urban in his paintings and works of art.

Bin Lamin, indulges in the ancient history of Libya, especially the ancient cave paintings in southern Libya, dating back 12,000 years ago, and the depiction of ancient Libyans on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs and monuments, and also Libyan traditional art and legends.

His interest in bright and subtle colours, which reflect in many ways the natural colours of the Libyan landscape, gives him that unique trademark, distinguishing him from other Libyan modern artists.

His experimentalist surreal sculptures and digital art works can be in some cases very intriguing, but they reflect his quest to experiment with different materials and freedom from restrictions and conformity.

His painted beings, with their deformed, disproportionate, heads and bodies, with their glowing colours of Yellow, green, red, brown and blue, the colours of the Libyan landscape, reflect a torn, sometimes deformed, identity, which tries to mix the different and divers, and conflicting, identities of Libya, a land of desert, and sea, rural and urban, the serious and absurd.

The Beings of Mohammed Bin Lamin, are entombed in their colourful, deformed submissive world. They don’t seem able to escape their mundane reality, surrendering to a life of boredom and frustration, but not for Long…

Mohammed Bin Lamin, was born in Misurata in 1969, artist, painter, and sculptor. His works has been shown in many art exhibitions in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, UK, and China, his works were reproduced as book covers for many Libyan writers.

He was arrested by Gaddafi regime at his art studio in Misurata on the 16th Februry 2011 there has been no reports of his condition or whereabouts since.

For more information of his works visit his official website Assakeefa Art Gallery


Works & Life

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Mohammad Bin Lamin – Works & Life

By Solara Sabah

“The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.” – Faulkner

Mohammad Bin Lamin’s Art is breathtaking and truly remarkable work.

Binlamin focuses on his ideas and pour it on a wide variety of mediums.

Mohammad Bin Lamin, is a Libyan born artist and lives in Misurata. He is a self- taught, self-representing artist and sculptor. Internally motivated, and guided by his own spirituality. He uses mix media to produce his art which enables him to vary his styles and creations.

His work is powerful, and conveys his emotions and can be, at times, both poetic or visual poetry and abstract art, simultaneously. “The Yellow being series”,” Being Who is Enclose in White series”, “Abstract of new Space”, “Angelical Dance Circle series”, are few examples of Binlmain’s work, which are very inspiring and illustrate his techniques and creativity.

Experience of Abu Salim Prison

“Art does not exist only to entertain, but also to challenge one to think, to provoke, even to disturb, in a constant search for truth”.

During the Libyan Revolution, Binlamin was detained and sent to Abu Salim prison while he was there he filled the prison’s wall with his paintings using the foil plates to draw. Abu Salim drawings are truly unique works and reveal his creative side to share his visions about freedom as he imagined it for himself and for all Libyans.

It takes creativity to work with unusual mediums and thats what Bin lamin did, he used the bullet’s shells, empty bullets, and metallic wires which were left over after the war and build out of it a very interesting and amazing sculptures to symbolized the “Revolution” he titled them ‘ Sculptures of War”. “Sculptures of Libyan Revolution” and Sculptures to Honor the War’s Amputees.


1. Mohammad Bin Lamin discovered a new and unknown technical task which is regarded as substantial addition in the world of techniques and media

2. . Mohammad Bin Lamin invented new Media with new techniques on the painting based on special materials using photographic burned – paper. It is inexpensive method and has important results and quick implementation, durable and can be washed with water.

The Power of Mohammad Bin Lamin’s Art and The Libyan Revolution

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Hego Goevert

The Power of Mohammad Bin Lamin’s Art and The Libyan


By Hego Goevert

(Young Chronicle- Issue: 12, Volume: 01,

April 2012)


“Anyone who says you can’t see a thought simply doesn’t know art”

(Wynetka Ann Reynolds)

Can art be subversive? Oh, yes, it can! And there is no better

evidence for this statement than the art of Mohammad Bin Lamin.

Let me come right to the point:

Mohammad Bin Lamin’s art is unique. It cannot be categorized.

And, of course, it eludes the control of any authority. His art

clearly contributed to the outbreak of the Libyan revolution. He is

one of those artists, writers, intellectuals who prepared the ground.

If you are able to ‘read’ paintings, you simply have to have a look at

his 2007 series ‘Figures’ which depicts the pre-revolutionary

atmosphere in Libya. Figures – painted on a unique blue

background – in yellow, red, white, brown, wildly moving, dancing,

and whirling around like some sort of mystical dervishes. The

series expresses the irrepressible passion, the individual desire for

freedom. Later, in his New Media series, Bin Lamin takes a closer

look at the people’s faces and you can see grim, wrath. He also

started to paint groups of people as if there would be a secret

gathering going on…


Figurative Art


When I got the news of his detention I immediately implemented

various actions – together with my fellow artists of the

internationally acclaimed MIRCA ART GROUP. We implemented

actions as we had done before in aid of the release of Burma’s

(Myanmar’s) Aung San Suu Kyi and China’s Ai Weiwei. Now one of

our fellow members, Mohammad Bin Lamin, had been arrested

and for unbearable 6 months we did not know if he was still alive.

We felt more than a great relief and joy when we got the news that

our friend had been freed from the detention in the infamous Abu-

Salim-prison. This was a kind of victory for all of us!

Of course, Mohammad Bin Lamin’s art has changed since the end

of the revolution. I think, it’s quite typical for him, that he started

doing a captivating series called ‘Sculptures of War’, showing

impressive sculptures made of bullet casings, in which he comforts

and encourages the amputees of the revolution (“Life can be joyful

and rewarding again!”). Only after doing this series he started to

overcome his own trauma by doing the amazing ‘Torture of

Tintalos’ series.


Torture of Tintalos


I do not think that anyone of us can imagine what Mohammad Bin

Lamin has gone through during his detention – knowing that his

wife was pregnant. I was so touched when she finally gave birth to

two lovely girls, his daughters Takbeer & Tahleel. May they reap in

their lives what their father and the other heroes of the revolution


I am so proud of being called Mohammad’s FRIEND. It is an

honour to be friend with someone who stood up for the freedom of

the individual, for the freedom of speech and art, for the dignity of

man and for social justice. Though deeply rooted in the great

culture of Libya, Mohammad Bin Lamin is a ‘global citizen’. I

cannot think of any better cultural ambassador for Libya!

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