Posts tagged Syria

Syria’s Apex Generation 
9 June - 28 August (Dubai) | 11 June - 28 August (Beirut)
Syria’s Apex Generation explores the myriad ways artists are responding to the current conflict in Syria through multifaceted works that reflect a new phase of the country’s contemporary art. Focusing on painters who launched their careers in the 2000s when the Damascus art scene experienced significant growth, the exhibition will demonstrate how these artists have contributed to the catapulting of Syrian art over the past decade, which reached a high point just before the onset of the war. 
(Painting: Massacre (2012), Abdul Karim Majdal Al Beik. Image courtesy Ayyam Gallery)

Syria’s Apex Generation 

9 June - 28 August (Dubai) | 11 June - 28 August (Beirut)

Syria’s Apex Generation explores the myriad ways artists are responding to the current conflict in Syria through multifaceted works that reflect a new phase of the country’s contemporary art. Focusing on painters who launched their careers in the 2000s when the Damascus art scene experienced significant growth, the exhibition will demonstrate how these artists have contributed to the catapulting of Syrian art over the past decade, which reached a high point just before the onset of the war. 

(Painting: Massacre (2012), Abdul Karim Majdal Al Beik. Image courtesy Ayyam Gallery)

Behind the headlines A revolution in Syrian art

Behind the headlines is a series of events at the Museum exploring the cultural context behind news stories from across the world, looking closely at objects from the Museum’s collection.

Before 2011, the Syrian art scene was limited by the number of galleries and spaces for showing work, and the government control of cultural institutions. Since the uprising, an outpouring of creative expression from artists across all levels of Syrian society has formed a response to the violence. This panel discussion, chaired by Malu Halasa, co-editor of Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline, and including panellists Issam Kourbaj, Zaher Omareen, Khalil Younes and Venetia Porter, will consider the pre-revolution period through looking at British Museum objects, the change that revolution has bought to the country’s artists, and the new possibilities that lie ahead.

The British Museum
Friday 20 June
18.30–19.30 
BP Lecture Theatre

Syria Speaks
Art and Culture from the Frontline
Edited by Malu Halasa, Zaher Omareen and Nawara Mahfoud
In Syria, culture has become a critical line of defence against tyranny.
Syria Speaks is a celebration of a people determined to reclaim their dignity, freedom and self-expression. It showcases the work of over fifty artists and writers who are challenging the culture of violence in Syria. Their literature, poems and songs, cartoons, political posters and photographs document and interpret the momentous changes that have shifted the frame of reality so drastically in Syria.
Moving and inspiring, Syria Speaks is testament to the courage, creativity and imagination of the Syrian people.
(Cover image: Poster by Alshaab alsori aref tarekh showing a character by Mohamed Tayeb. Zaytoun, the Little Refugee, from the Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus, is a political, artistic and educational project, which contests the monopoly of power to write history)
Published: June 2014

Syria Speaks

Art and Culture from the Frontline

Edited by Malu Halasa, Zaher Omareen and Nawara Mahfoud

In Syria, culture has become a critical line of defence against tyranny.

Syria Speaks is a celebration of a people determined to reclaim their dignity, freedom and self-expression. It showcases the work of over fifty artists and writers who are challenging the culture of violence in Syria. Their literature, poems and songs, cartoons, political posters and photographs document and interpret the momentous changes that have shifted the frame of reality so drastically in Syria.

Moving and inspiring, Syria Speaks is testament to the courage, creativity and imagination of the Syrian people.

(Cover image: Poster by Alshaab alsori aref tarekh showing a character by Mohamed Tayeb. Zaytoun, the Little Refugee, from the Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus, is a political, artistic and educational project, which contests the monopoly of power to write history)

Published: June 2014

We Are Many 

On February 15 2003, millions and millions of people, in over 800 cities across all seven continents, marched against the impending invasion of Iraq. It was the largest mobilization of people in human history and yet it remains an untold, little-known story.

‘We Are Many’ tells the story of that single day and explores its meaning. At its heart is the drama of many millions of everyday people fighting to stop a war, set against a small number of people working to start one. The film follows the twists and turns of these opposing forces, both as the facts were known then, and what has come to light since the invasion in leaks, inquiries, and high-level hearings.

The film chronicles for the first time the rise of a new kind of movement, from those who built and participated in it, as well as those who opposed it. It is an untold chapter in the history of people power, by turns uplifting and chilling, which reveals the potential power of ordinary people as well as the dark underbelly of the war machine.

This powerful, riveting story of the greatest mass mobilization in history is also a devastating critique of the state of democracy today.

We Are Many will be more than a remarkable collective story of humanity – it will be a contribution given back to the movement against war. It will reunite, both physically through networking on the website, and in spirit through the film, the people who took part on 15 February 2003.

Together, the film and website will support and promote the ever growing public vigilance around the world against present and future wars.

'We Are Many' celebrated its World Premiere at Sheffield International Documentary Festival on 8 June.

"…you would be be squelching around with blood on the floor…"
The artist Bob and Roberta Smith was inspired to produce this art work after listening to Dr David Nott in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s PM show. In the interview Dr David Nott talks about his experience working as a surgeon in war torn Syria.
The art piece is on display at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2014 from 9 June to 17 August. 
You can listen to the inspiring interview here.
(Image Credit: BBCPM)

"…you would be be squelching around with blood on the floor…"

The artist Bob and Roberta Smith was inspired to produce this art work after listening to Dr David Nott in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s PM show. In the interview Dr David Nott talks about his experience working as a surgeon in war torn Syria.

The art piece is on display at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2014 from 9 June to 17 August. 

You can listen to the inspiring interview here.

(Image Credit: BBCPM)

Et pourtant ils créent ! (Syrie : la foi dans l’art) 

And yet they create! (Syria faith in the art)

The Institute of Islamic Cultures hosts the works of Syrian contemporary visual practices, expressions and varied writings that have in common the subsequent outbreak of the Syrian revolution. While some artists had to stop creating, others have welcomed into their works so often directly, sometimes obliquely, the violence in their country. Some even show their stubborn refusal to see the horizon of their creation reduced to war again, again and again.

Civlizations cross paths in Venice with 22 writers

Twenty two writers from Europe, Africa, Near and Far East and Latin America will be the protagonists on April 2-5 of the Venice international literature festival 'Incroci di civilta' 2014’, or crossroads of civilizations, promoted by the Ca’ Foscari university, Fondazione di Venezia and municipality. Overall, 17 countries will be represented at the festival. Among them are Saudi Arabia, with journalist Raja Alem, author of novels and books for children and born in Makka. Today she resides in Jeddah and Paris. She is considered among the most important Arab-language writers of her generation for The Dove’s Necklace, which won the prestigious International Arabic Fiction Prize in 2011, in which she describes a society dominated by brutal traditions in its difficult quest to compromise with new costumes.

Syria will also be represented in Venice with Salwa Al-Neimi, a leading contemporary Arab novelist. Born in Damascus, after graduating in Arabic language and lityerature, she moved to Paris. The 2000 Pulitzer prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri, a US writer of Indian origins will also be in Venice, along with Welsh filmmaker, screenwriter and painter Peter Greenaway and noir novelist Massimo Carlotto. 

Banksy, Elbow and Idris Elba stand together with Syria in a moving video tribute

The campaign video marks the third anniversary of the conflict.

MSF Syrian blogs are now live and feature Charlotte, an MSF psychologist, who brings to life what it’s like to work during this ongoing conflict.

MSF Syrian blogs are now live and feature Charlotte, an MSF psychologist, who brings to life what it’s like to work during this ongoing conflict.

From Inside: A Diary of Syria

It’s been almost three years of a most shocking mixture of pain and hope in Syria. While the pain manifests itself with bombardments and continuous detentions, hope manifests itself with the outburst of new creative talents.

Extraordinary young photographers and filmmakers have emerged through the professional training programme TAKWEEN: a project initiated by DOX BOX Int’l Documentary Film Festival (Syria) and the Prince Claus Fund (the Netherlands).

In order to share these unique perspectives with the rest of the world, DOX BOX and the Prince Claus Fund have created From Inside: A Diary of Syria, a photography and video blog showcasing the work of three young Syrian photographers each month. Through the ‘diary entries’, photographers and filmmakers (ages 18-25) from across Syria share their everyday lives through their words and outstanding photos.

(Photo Credits: Abd Doumany Douma – 7 November 2012/Abd Doumany Cradle of Revolution Near Damascus – 22 May 2013/Bury the Martyrs by Bassam Al-Hakeem Damascus Barzah – 12 May 2013)

SYRI-ARTS: 101 WORKS OF ART 
Syri-Arts, organized by the NGO Kayany, a Lebanese non-profit organization, which is inviting artists to donate a work of art which will be exhibited and auctioned to raise funds for the Syrian children who are the first victims of the unbearable tragedy of the war in Syria. The response has been great, from the Middle East and beyond. Artists and galleries have responded with great enthusiasm to Syri-Arts’ invitation with an exquisite array of works.
(Image Credit: “Dreamland II, Upekkha series” by Nermine Hammam)

SYRI-ARTS: 101 WORKS OF ART

Syri-Arts, organized by the NGO Kayany, a Lebanese non-profit organization, which is inviting artists to donate a work of art which will be exhibited and auctioned to raise funds for the Syrian children who are the first victims of the unbearable tragedy of the war in Syria. The response has been great, from the Middle East and beyond. Artists and galleries have responded with great enthusiasm to Syri-Arts’ invitation with an exquisite array of works.

(Image Credit: “Dreamland II, Upekkha series” by Nermine Hammam)

CREATIVE DISSENT: ARTS OF THE ARAB WORLD UPRISINGS

This exhibit explores the visual arts and other expressive media of the recent Arab World Uprisings.

Images are often used as communicative devices to present politicized messages. During the recent Arab World uprisings, demonstrators created images to express opposition to incumbent governments and members of the ruling elite. Over and again, activists, protesters, artists, and other individuals adopted the expressive media—including videos, photographs, painted and digital images, as well as slogans, music, and even puppets—to create visualized and performed modes of dissent within public space, both in the streets and online.

Creative Dissent: Arts of the Arab World Uprisings will be on display at the Arab American National Museum, November 8, 2013 - February 9, 2014. Lower Level Gallery, free with Museum admission.

SYRIA: A SILENCED SCREAM
In the early, initially peaceful stages of the Syrian uprising, a group of activist artists named “The Syrian People Know Their Way” sought to disseminate powerful imagery, clever both visually and intellectually, protesting the regime of Bashar Al-Assad.
Their distinctive posters, produced collectively both inside and outside Syria via the Internet, challenge nearly 50 years of Ba’athist propaganda and allow viewers to examine the political reality of Syria through the perspective of the strugglers, rather than through the prism of the values of the Western world.
Making its U.S. debut, Syria: A Silenced Scream, reveals the struggle of the resistance artists who have since been silenced. The exhibition opens at a time when estimated 100,000 people have died in the Syrian conflict. Designed as an archive, the exhibition memorializes the movement for generations to come.
Presented by the Middle East Center for the Arts (MECA), in collaboration with the Research Gallery, Master’s Program of Integrated Design at the Holon Institute of Technology, on Mana Contemporary’s first floor. On view through Nov. 16, 2013.
(Image Arabic Text: “And a Human Will Be Born Among Us”)

SYRIA: A SILENCED SCREAM

In the early, initially peaceful stages of the Syrian uprising, a group of activist artists named “The Syrian People Know Their Way” sought to disseminate powerful imagery, clever both visually and intellectually, protesting the regime of Bashar Al-Assad.

Their distinctive posters, produced collectively both inside and outside Syria via the Internet, challenge nearly 50 years of Ba’athist propaganda and allow viewers to examine the political reality of Syria through the perspective of the strugglers, rather than through the prism of the values of the Western world.

Making its U.S. debut, Syria: A Silenced Scream, reveals the struggle of the resistance artists who have since been silenced. The exhibition opens at a time when estimated 100,000 people have died in the Syrian conflict. Designed as an archive, the exhibition memorializes the movement for generations to come.

Presented by the Middle East Center for the Arts (MECA), in collaboration with the Research Gallery, Master’s Program of Integrated Design at the Holon Institute of Technology, on Mana Contemporary’s first floor. On view through Nov. 16, 2013.

(Image Arabic Text: “And a Human Will Be Born Among Us”)

Syrian Civil War: Artists Displaced By Conflict Find Refuge (And Beauty) In Lebanese Artists’ Colony
ARA is a dynamic space for communication and creation. It is a collective community of eclectic forms of expression. We offer residency and commission artistic projects for young Syrian artists.
“With this war, Syria’s artists don’t have an emotional or physical place to work, so I offer them this,” said Raghad Mardini, a Syrian single mother of four and an accomplished civil engineer with a predilection for art. She renovated the stable in 2011 for this purpose, and runs the residency program for displaced and fleeing Syrian artists. So far she has hosted 24 artists, two at a time each month.
The Founder’s Vision
"The project arose out of my lifelong passion for a particular creative atmosphere I discovered years ago in the studios and ateliers of Damascus, an artistic eco-system which I lived and breathed and which produced so many of my favourite artists, many of them friends. The stables at Aley were a relic from the Civil War, which I found unloved like the walnut tree suffering sadly in the grounds.
As a civil engineer, I saw the opportunity to turn the stables into something beautiful and also symbolic: ruined and in trouble but still possessing an inner beauty it was impossible to mistake, and which the right amount of love and energy could revive into something productive and new. It’s a space of freedom and hope for every young Syrian artist.”
Raghad Mardini

Syrian Civil War: Artists Displaced By Conflict Find Refuge (And Beauty) In Lebanese Artists’ Colony

ARA is a dynamic space for communication and creation. It is a collective community of eclectic forms of expression. We offer residency and commission artistic projects for young Syrian artists.

“With this war, Syria’s artists don’t have an emotional or physical place to work, so I offer them this,” said Raghad Mardini, a Syrian single mother of four and an accomplished civil engineer with a predilection for art. She renovated the stable in 2011 for this purpose, and runs the residency program for displaced and fleeing Syrian artists. So far she has hosted 24 artists, two at a time each month.

The Founder’s Vision

"The project arose out of my lifelong passion for a particular creative atmosphere I discovered years ago in the studios and ateliers of Damascus, an artistic eco-system which I lived and breathed and which produced so many of my favourite artists, many of them friends. The stables at Aley were a relic from the Civil War, which I found unloved like the walnut tree suffering sadly in the grounds.

As a civil engineer, I saw the opportunity to turn the stables into something beautiful and also symbolic: ruined and in trouble but still possessing an inner beauty it was impossible to mistake, and which the right amount of love and energy could revive into something productive and new. It’s a space of freedom and hope for every young Syrian artist.”

Raghad Mardini

"We need freedom for true art": Interview with Syrian pianist Malek Jandali

When Syrians took to the streets in March 2011, they rebelled not only against the ruling Assad family, but also against the obscurantism that had been imposed on them for decades. Art as a whole, and music in particular, have played a crucial role in the paradigm shift that has accompanied the revolution, as Syrians discover their voices for the first time.

A new generation of Syrian artists Jandali said dictators fear the soft powers that can transform people’s mind, which is why they target artists and intellectuals. He has personally suffered this persecution. Though he left the country years ago, regime forces have repeatedly ransacked his Syrian home and severely beat his parents in retaliation to his anti-regime activity. But the revolution has allowed for the birth of a generation of artists, breaking away from the decades of official propaganda present in art production.

YouTube Video: Syria Anthem of the Free - Malek Jandali 
ســــــــــــوريـــا نشيد الأحرار- مالك جندلي