Walid Raad (Lebanese, b.1967) is an internationally known Contemporary artist working in media such as video, photography, and essays. He was born in Chbanieh, Lebanon. In 1989, Raad received a BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, followed by a MA and PhD in Cultural and Visual Studies from the University of Rochester in New York in 1993 and 1996, respectively. His work focuses on the recent history of Lebanon, particularly the periods of war between 1975 and 1991; it often deals with traumatic events using various mediums.
Raad is a member of the Arab Image Foundation, and is active in describing the history of Lebanon. He co-curated Mapping Sitting: On Portaiture and Photography, an exploration of Arab photography and its relationship to identity. In 1989, he founded The Atlas Group, which he uses to promote his work and get the message out on Lebanese history and war. It is a collection of films, videos, photographs, and other documents. The group is the brainchild of Raad. He has published several fictional books under the pseudonym Walter Konig, about the 14-year war in Lebanon. The goal of The Atlas Group is to create a fictional archive that criticizes traditional historical documentation methods and the autonomy of artistic work. Many of the fictional archives are featured in museums throughout the world. His work often examines the ways history is told, and how it can be manipulated. Some of his most famous works include Notebook Volume 38: Already Been in a Lake of Fire, BEY82_Artillery_II, and The Dead Weight of a Quarrel Hangs.
Raad is also the recipient of the 2011 Hasselblad-Prize, the 2007 Alpert Award for Visual Arts, and the 2007 Deutsche Borse Photography Prize. His works have been exhibited at Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany, The Venice Bennale in Venice, Italy, The Whitney Biennial in New York, and The Ayloul Festival in Beirut, Lebanon, as well as other events and museums throughout North America, Europe, and the Middle East. He currently lives in New York, where he is an associate professor at the Cooper Union School of Art.