Asma Khalifa

Activist Type
Women's Rights

Asma Khalifa is a Libyan advocate for peace, women, and the rights of Amazighs, one of the ethnic indigenous linguistic minority groups of Libya and North Africa. Khalifa grew up under the rule of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who was widely regarded as an unpredictable and radical despot. The Libya of Asma’s childhood was often in turmoil due to Qaddafi’s chaotic and questionable leadership. She was raised with the looming threat of assault for being a woman or for being a non-Arab. With the death of Qaddafi and the start of the civil war, Asma Khalifa has been focusing on ending the war and establishing a strong civil society in Libya as the struggle for leadership continues. As the conflict for control of the country continues, Khalifa is working to ensure the rights and freedoms of those who were underrepresented before the revolution. In 2015 she co-founded the Tamazight Women Movement, an organization attempting to establish gender equality and share information on the indigenous women of Libya and North Africa. Khalifa believes achieving peace and prosperity in Libya can be done by first making changes on a local level. She was recognized for her work to establish peace in 2016 when she received the Luxembourg Peace Prize.

Artwork by
Johnny Selman

For her portrait, I wanted to use a process that represented the transitional nature of her journey. I used xerox transfer to physically take her portrait from one piece of paper to another. There is a slight double print that causes a kinetic effect that I feel is a fitting representation of the restlessness of her activism.


Libya Flag
December 24, 1951
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