Shwaya, Shwaya – Zackerea Bakir at OUTPUT Gallery

Shwaya, Shwaya 
Zackerea Bakir
OUTPUT Gallery

Preview: 5-8pm, Thursday 27 October 2022

Open: Friday 28 October – Sunday 6 November 2022, 11am-5pm

Shwaya, Shwaya – exhibition text and Q&A in Arabic

Zackerea Bakir’s first gallery exhibition explores what it means to be a dual Libyan/British national, playfully navigating the tensions and contradictions between two cultural identities.

Shwaya is a colloquial Arabic term which means a little. The slang phrase Shwaya, Shwaya is often passionately used in various contexts, from telling people to calm down, to expressing that someone lacks knowledge.

This body of work, across sculpture, collage, video and graphic design, playfully riffs on the phrase. By responding to outdated media depictions of Arab nations (such as the Libyans in Back to the Future, a nostalgic touchstone for the artist), it presents a modern, open-minded and inquisitive take on dual heritage identity.

Zackerea asks: can he truly be Arab, or engage in Arab culture, without being able to speak Arabic?


Zackerea Bakir is a British-Libyan creative and actor. His work examines the nuances of being an Arab dual-national within Britain. Driven by a restless energy, Zackerea’s diverse creative output interrogates this question, using either screen, gallery or stage to tell his story.

OUTPUT Gallery, 32 Seel St, Liverpool, L1 4FD