Khamsa khamsa khamsa


In this photo-autobiography, Julia Gat relates her childhood free from the constraints of traditional schooling. By taking snaps of her brothers and sisters when young, she discovered the art of photography.

This book is not yet published, but will be available from September 2022.

ISBN: 9782330165628 Category:

Julia GAT


Khamsa, the number five in Arabic, a reference to the five fingers of the hand, is repeated three times as a protective mantra. This work is a visual autobiography in the form of a family archive. With its intermittent portraits of friends and domestic tableaux, the work focuses on five main protagonists: her sisters Sara and Nina, her brothers Michael and Jonathan, and Julia, the fifth sibling whose presence is projected on them from behind her lens.

To begin with Julia Gat tells the stories of childhood and teenage years growing up with her four brothers and sisters, schooled outside any education system via alternative teaching methods. Through images of what is essentially a family album, the artist developed her own distinct photographic approach. As she observes the faces of friends and family around her, their changing bodies and the beautiful Mediterranean landscapes, Julia Gat tells her story.

For the artist, documenting her daily life created a breadcrumb trail via which, from the maturity of adulthood, she has been able to stay in touch with her childhood sensibilities: “When I was 10, I promised myself I’d never forget how a child sees the world: everything is fresh and new, the imagination blurs with reality and the unknown is fascinating.”

“Khamsakhamsakhamsa is an invitation to bring a new sense of freedom to the process of learning, a blessing for which I am grateful.”

At a time when home-learning is regulated by government policies, Julia Gat’s first work is a tribute to a different form of education based on experimentation and the importance of allowing early artistic expression to flourish. The artist’s work is a candid portrait of her upbringing and reveals a talent openly embracing the freedom to tell her own story.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 20 x 30 cm
Publisher name Actes Sud
Publication date 28 September 2022
Number of pages 48
Format Hardback
Dimensions 20 x 30 cm
Weight 300 g


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Born in 1997, Julia Gat is a photographer based in Marseille. At the intersection between documentary and portraiture, her work explores human interaction in its purest form. Exhibited at the Netherland's Museum of Photography (2021-2022), the Khamsakhamsakhamsa won the ISEM Young photographer prize (2020) and the visitor's Steenbergen Stipendium prize (2021).