Artists  Continent  Europe

Bárbara Sánchez Barroso


Bárbara Sánchez Barroso was born in Lleida, Spain in 1987. She currently lives in Ghent, Belgium, where she is studying at the Higher Institute for Fine Arts (HISK). She has a BA diploma in Audio-visual Communication and Fine Arts (2011, 2012 respectively). She also studied Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature (MA) at University of Barcelona in Spain.

The artistic practice of Bárbara Sánchez Barroso can be viewed through her multifaceted engagement with the world: as a feminist, artist and traveller, but also booklover and cinema enthusiast. Her heroes are writers and poets – such as Virginia Woolf, who declared that as a woman, she had ‘no country’, yet despite this displacement, she claimed the entire world as her home. However, Barroso’s true inspiration comes from the stories of ordinary people whom she encounters in her daily life. Through them, she challenges social stereotypes and gender roles, balancing the poetry and vulnerability of the personal against the urgency of the political.

The video Paradise is an extract from a longer version of the film of the same title. Interested in the contemporary dimensions of mass migration, Barroso confronts her preconceptions of tourism and illegal forms of mobility with personal observations and the stories of people who have sought asylum in Europe. Juxtaposing voice recordings with symbolic imagery collected during her journey, the artist creates a polyphonic metaphor for reality of false expectations of freedom and failed dreams, questioning the human condition today.

The video tracks testimony by Ahmed – a Tunisian, whom Barroso encountered during her research trip to El Haouaria, a coastal town in the north of the country. While the narrative unfolds, punctuated by the protagonist’s expressions of disappointment, self-victimisation and resentment, the visual layer undermines the storyline: the shots of a karate fighter or the birds-of-prey breeders in their all-male community reverse the implied balance of power and dominance. The Western projection of Paradise, with its idyllic tourist adverts, and the Eastern one seem equally utopian. The moment when, in the hands of a magician, the Spanish passport turns into a Tunisian one delivers a poignant conclusion on social inequality and second-class citizenship – any prospect of a better life reducible to no more than good or bad luck.

Barbara Sanchez Barroso  



Year: 2019

Duration: 5 min 59

Video produced by the Han Nefkens Foundation


Born 1987, Spain

Work in Belgium  ​


2019 (Upcoming)

At the Fringes of Identity, Contemporary video art from the Han Nefkens Foundation, Museo Storico della Città di Lecce, Lecce, Italy

2019 (Upcoming)

At the Fringes of Identity, Contemporary video art from the Han Nefkens Foundation, Museo d’arte contemporanea, Lissone, Italy 


Expo finale Résidences BCN>TNS>ALG, C.C. Fort Pienc, Barcelona 


Focus Mediterrània, SWAB Art Fair, Barcelona 


In search of Global Poetry: Videos from the Han Nefkens Collection, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Quito, Ecuador


Presentation of projects, B’Chira Art Center, Tunis, Tunisia 




“History is Herstory” Contact Making Seminar, Liwan Space, Amman, Jordan



C the film, Edinburgh Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland


NACMM > KIBRIT ENCOUNTERS > BCN Investigating mobilities of knowledges and practices reactivating memory collectively, JISER, Barcelona