Rania Lee Khalil makes performances on camera and moving image for live audiences. Her artworks reflect on the beauty and disappearance of indigenous plant, animal and human (culture)s.  Her embodied and research based practice interweaves reflections on ecology, third world feminism, post coloniality and healing- focusing on colonialism’s destruction of the environment among other themes. Originally trained in dance, somatic movement and Butoh, Khalil brings a sense of quiet and movement to her performances and moving images.

Her original works have been seen in places including The Judson Church, La Mama Galleria, Martin Segal Theater, Utopia Station and The Ontological-Hysteric Theater in New York; Aomori Art Museum Japan, Al Ma’mal Contemporary Art Foundation Palestine, Zawya Cinema Egypt, Kiasma Museum for Contemporary Art Finland and the 56th Venice Biennale. She completes her practice based doctorate at the University of Arts Helsinki, Theatre Academy this spring and teaches in the MFA program at the Parsons School of Art and Design at The New School for Social Research.

Awards include NYFA (US), Kone Foundation (Finland), CIMO foundation (Finland), Erasmus Mundus (Europe), Fund for Women Artists (US), Zebra Poetry Film Festival (Germany)

Rania's artistic research has been made possible with the generous support of the Kone Foundation.

The daughter of Egyptian immigrants to the U.S., Khalil lived and worked in Cairo, Egypt and Europe between 2007 and 2016. She has since returned to Brooklyn, NY where she lives and works with her partner and daughter.

She is the co-founder of L Nour Editions, a publishing house for photo books by artists of color from the Middle East and their diaspora, with photographer Anthony Hamboussi.

(Education) Khalil attended Simon's Rock Early College of Bard and Hampshire Collegefor her undergraduate. Interested in healing in the aftermath of 9/11, she earned a Master's degree in social work and community organizing from Hunter College in New York City in 2006. She received a second Master's degree in International Performance as Research from the University of Warwick, England in 2009, followed by her artistic research doctorate in performance at the University of Arts, Theatre Acaademy, Helsinki, Finland.


The Third World Ecology Trilogy at MATATU : Oakland, CA   Sunday, Sept 22, 2019 7 pm
so honored to be part of this amazing lineup and concept-festival

The Third World Ecology Trilogy at PUBLICS Helsinki, Finland.  7 June, 2019, 18 - 20:30 (premiere)

preview of The Third World Ecology Trilogy at Carroll Gardens Public Library Brooklyn 18 May, 2019 1 pm, by invitation

L Nour Editions presents
Store Front for Art and Architecture: DMZ 30 years later
book signing of Imagining Eurasia by Kyong Parks.
 20 April, 2019 3-6 pm

L Nour Editions presents
“Our Land" exhibition Amelie A. Wallace Gallery SUNY Old Westbury University, NY
4 February - 13 March, 2019
curated by Anthony Hamboussi
Participating Artists: Manal Abu-Shaheen, Moath Alofi, Youssef Chahine, Fouad ElKoury, Rana ElNemr, Anthony Hamboussi, Rhea Karam, Rania Lee Khalil, Yazan Khalili, Aisha Mershani, Camille Zakharia


Writings by Rania Lee Khalil include:

Khalil, Rania Lee. “Family Photographs as Political Performance: The Pan-African Asian Women’s Organization, 1960-1965” Performance and Otherness (vol 1), Theatre Academy Helsinki Press,  2018

Khalil, Rania. “Palestinian Wildlife Series: Embodiment in Images and Critical Abstraction” Journal for Artistic Research vol. 10, 2016

Khalil, Rania. “Things You Didn’t Plan: On Making a Site Specific Performance in Palestine.”  Essays on Live Art and Performance Studies. Episodi 4. ed. Annette Arlander. Theatre Academy Press, Helsinki. 2014.

Khalil, Rania.  Arts Writer, Daily News Egypt. Cairo, 2008-2012

Khalil, Rania. "Human Exotic as Prop: On the Devised Theatre of Rimini Protokoll". Warwick University, England. 2010

Khalil, Rania.  “Our Smiles Are Extravagant” Long Shot Magazine vol. 27, p. 115, Long Shot Productions, 2004

Writings on the work Rania Lee Khalil include:

Schulenberg, Anneke.  "Lost in Translation? Video Art by Egyptian Female Artists".  Overview Film Project,  2016

Said, Maha.  “Dropping the Hyphen: Arab American Poetry from Ethnic to Diaspora”.   American Studies Conference, American University of Beirut, 2016

Basiouny, Dalia and Marvin Carlson. Flag Piece Arab Stages volume 2. april, 2015

Basiouny, Dalia. “Descent as Dissent” Political and Protest Theatre after 9/11  ed. Jenny Spencer. New York: Routledge Press. 2012.

Sabry, Somaya Sami. Arab American Women’s Writing and Performance: Orientalism, Race and the Idea of the Arabian Nights. London and New York: I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd. 2011

Carlson, Marvin and Dalia Basiouny. “Current Trends in Arab American Theater” Performance, Exile and America ed. by Sylvia Jestrovic and Yana Meerzon. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 2009.


ranialeekhalil [at] gmail [dot] com