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Shatha Altowai is a Yemeni artist based in Edinburgh, UK. She has presented at several art galleries in Yemen and beyond.

She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology with Honours from the University of Utara Malaysia (2014) in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen. After earning her degree, Shatha held several administrative and technical positions in the Yemeni private sector. In 2018, she left those positions and decided to fully engage in her passion for art.

Much of Shatha’s work reflects aspects of life in her society, and the suffering caused by the ongoing civil war in Yemen. Through her figurative, cubist, and abstract paintings, Shatha seeks to shed light on issues such as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), women, coexistence, and families in Yemen.

Shatha was awarded the IIE-Artist Protection Fund (APF) Fellowship which was hosted within the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at the University of Edinburgh (2020-2021), and worked as an artist in residence at Art27scotland (2022 - 2023) where she works to deliver a socially-engaged art practice within the Southside of Edinburgh. Shatha is currently a freelance artist.


Diversity and Inclusion Fund Awards (visual art commission as artistic collaboration with The Other band), Edinburgh, UK. (June 2023).

- The Scottish Women's Awards, (In Arts and Culture), Edinburgh, UK. (27 OCT. 2022)

- The John Byrne Award, Winner of the first quarter (Feb - Apr 2021), Edinburgh, UK. 5 Jul. 2021

- IIE-Artist Protection Fund Fellowship Award (APF) in residence at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH), University of Edinburgh. Nov. 2020 - Nov. 2021. 

Award Nominations & Shortlist

- Refugee Festival Scotland Media Awards, Shortlisted, Edinburgh. 31 May. 2022. Featured in "Yemen to Edinburgh - Our Journey to Creative Freedom | Loop series" BBC Scotland TV.



- Inherited Incantation, community led Project exhibition, Festival of Migration, Art27scotland, Edinburgh (June 2023).​

-The themes of displacement, statelessness, and exile across the Middle East, Central Asia, and Caucasus regions , Group exhibtion, University of ST Andrews for the Institute of Middle East, Central Asia, and Caucasus Studies (MECACS), Edinburgh, UK (29 May - 8 June 2023).

Art exhibition, Solo exhibition, Pianodrome event, at The Wee Hub. the Ocean Terminals (May 2023).​

- Yemeni Community exhibition, Group exhibition, Manchester (10 May 2023).​

- Symposium, Group exhibition, In From the Margins program, Edinburgh Printmakers, Edinburgh, UK (2 April. 2023).



Women Exhibiton, Group exhibition, Fringe, Art27scotland, Edinburgh, UK (05-31 Aug).

- The Displaced Paintings,Solo exhibition, Scottish Council on Global Affairs, The National Museum of scotland, Edinburgh, UK (28 Apr).

- Art as a Tool for Peace: Group exhibition, PeaceRep & Global Justice Academy, Old College, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK (24 Nov. 2021- 31 Mar.2022).


- The White Canvas, Solo Exhibition, IASH - University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (26-30 Jul).

- Scratched Identities, Solo Exhibition, Art27Scotand, Scotland, UK (Oct)


- Art & Coexistence, Group Exhibition, Art Booster Initiative, Sana’a, Yemen (Sept).

- The Yemeni Fine Arts Convoy, Group Exhibition, GAL JLeo Art Genter, Cairo, Egypt (Aug).

- Takween First Forum, Group Exhibition, Takween Platform, Mukalla, Yemen (Jul).

- Hadhrami Orchestra Music, Group Exhibition, Istana Budaya "Palace of Culture", Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Apr).

- Tabayon workshop, Group Exhibition, Basement Cultural Foundation, Sana’a, Yemen (Apr).

- International Women's Day, Group Exhibition, Basement Cultural Foundation, Sana’a, Yemen (Mar).



- Gender and Social Sciences program, Group Exhibition, Youth Leadership Program Foundation, Sana’a, Yemen (May).



- Group Exhibition, La Vie Institute, Sana’a, Yemen (May).



- The Synesthesia of the Color & Tune, Solo Exhibition, Basement Cultural Foundation, Sana’a, Yemen (Mar).

Artistic Activities




Artist in Residence, Art27scotland, Edinburgh,UK (sep 2022 - Jun 2023).

• Memof Mutual Affinities Pilot Programme, by Creative Scotland, 3rd Conference, hosted in Alchemy Film & Arts, Hawick, Scottish Borders. (09-11 March 2023).

• Speaker, the themes of displacement, statelessness, and exile across the Middle East, Central Asia, and Caucasus regionsUniversity of ST Andrews for the Institute of Middle East, Central Asia, and Caucasus Studies (MECACS), Edinburgh, UK (29 May - 8 June 2023).

Artist in Residence, In From the Margin residency, supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, Edinburgh PrintmakersEdinburgh, UK (31 Jan - 1 Mar 2023).

Discussion Panel, Symposium, In From the Margins program, Scottish Storytelling Centre,Edinburgh, UK (2 April. 2023).

Speaker and art introduction, Meet the Member, Edinburgh Printmakers, Edinburgh, UK(17 February 2023).


Mutual Affinities Pilot Programme, funded by Creative Scotland, 2nd Conference hosted in Art27scotland, Edinburgh, UK (04 November 2022).

Beyond Borders Fellowship, Women in Conflict, Edinburgh and the Scottish borders, UK (Aug. 2022).

Saber Came To Tea, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, short play and music in collaboration with Art27scotlandat ZOO Venues, Edinburgh, UK(06 & 07 Aug. 2022).

Mutual Affinities, Pilot learning programme to explore partnership between displaced artists in Scotland and art community organisations across Scotland, Deveron Projects, Huntly, UK (Jun. 2022).

Cross Borders Mentoring Program, Program that gives people the opportunities to develop, produce and share their art, activism and cultural practice, Edinburgh, UK (2022 - 2023).

Youth Peacebuilding, Scotland and the World by Scottish Council on Global Affairs, The National Museum of scotland, EdinburghUK (28 Apr. 2022).

The Stories Behind the Faces, Storytelling cultural event in collaboration with Yemeni Scottish Foundation, GlasgowUK (26 Mar. 2022).


Saber Came to Tea, An evening of short play, music, visual art and conversation, in collaboration, Art27scotland, Southside Community CentreEdinburghUK( 08 & 09 Oct.2021).

Yemen: Pathways to Peace Yemen, An evening of Yemen film, music, art and discussion, Peace & Justice Scotland, Online (21Sep. 2021). More Info


• Creating multiple artworks for articles, AlMadaniya Magazine:

From Selling Bread and Roses to Real Estate and Firearms (28 Oct. 2020).

My Journey in the World of Stories (27 Oct. 2020).

The Sociology of Paternalism and its hold on Yemeni Society (15 Dec. 2019).
- The Crisis of Yemeni Enlightenment (29 Jul. 2019).
- The Narrative Worlds of Hind Haytham (14 Jul. 2019).
- Did Arabic Singing Originate in Yemen (20 Jun. 2019).
Journey of Fear, Guilt and Nostalgia (20 Apr. 2019).

• Artwork for a cover picture, annual magazine, German-Yemeni Society Jemen-Report 2020 ,Online, (Apr. 2020). 

• Artwork for an article “Planet Yemen”, “Yemen in brief” book, (19 Nov. 2019).

• Role at the play I have Met the Enemy (and the enemy is us)Common Wealth Theatre Co, Performed through a pre-recorded film, Online, (Sept – Oct 2019):
- Played in TFD Youth Centre in Holmewood, Bradford, UK (27 Sept. – 05 Oct., 2019).
- Played in Byker Community Centre, Newcastle, UK (16 – 26 Oct. 2019).
- Youtube Trailer

• Artwork selected among the best 7 paintings in MENA region, Voices of Youth's competition, UNICEF, (Jan. 2019).

• Shatha's art story screened in a short documentary film "Voice of the Rainbow", Karama Film Festival, Filmed (Jul. – Aug. 2018), Screened:
- NY, USA (01 Aug. 2019).
- Aden & Taiz, Yemen (1 – 9 Apr. 2019).
- Seoul, South Korea (27 Jan. 2019).
- Istanbul, Turkey (29 Dec. 2018).
- Amman, Jordan (09 & 10 Dec. 2018).


• Shared TED talk & Art Performance with Saber, The SynesthesiaTEDxLIUSanaa, Sana’a, Yemen, (May, 2016).


• Volunteer Painter in pupils classes, AlAbakera School, Al-Ghorfah, Hadhramout, Yemen, (Dec., 2015).

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