Author(s): Malu Halasa
In Syria, culture has become the critical line of defence against tyranny. Villagers have joined the cultural frontline alongside urban intellectuals, artists, writers and filmmakers and to create art and literature that challenge official narratives. With contributions by over fifty artists and writers, both established and emerging, Syria Speaks explores the explosion of creativity and free expression by the Syrian people. They have become their own publishers on the Internet and formed anonymous artists collectives which are actively working in their country's war zones. The art and writing featured in this book, including literature, poems and songs as well as cartoons, political posters and photographs, document and interpret the momentous changes that have shifted the frame of reality so drastically in Syria.
Malu Halasa co-curated three exhibitions of Syria's art of resistance in London, Amsterdam and Copenhagen in 2012 and 2013. Her other works include 'The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie'. Zaher Omareen is a Syrian writer, who has worked on independent cultural initiatives in Syria and Britain. He is currently completing 'Tales of the Orontes River', a collection of short stories. Nawara Mahfoud is a Syrian journalist and documentary producer who has worked for the New York Times. She blogs for the New Yorker.com, among other publications.
Introduction vii Hama '82 1 Gateways to a Scorched Land, Samar Yazbek 2 Ongoing, Sulafa Hijazi 10 The Thieves' Market, Ossama Mohammed 17 Lettuce Fields, Khaled Khalifa 27 Revolution 2011; Chicken Liver, Khalil Younes 36 Between the Cultures of Sectarianism and Citizenship, Hassan Abbas 48 Banners in the Colour of the Euphrates, Kartoneh 60 The Art of Persuasion, Alshaab alsori aref tarekh & Charlotte Bank 66 The Symbol and Counter-Symbols in Syria, Zaher Omareen 84 Cartoons by Kafranbel, Photographs by Mezar Mattar 102 Mystery Shopper: Interview with Assaad al-Achi, Malu Halasa 104 Popular Collision, Omar Alassad 112 Lens Young 118 A Black Cloud in a Leaden White Sky, or Death by Stabs of Sorrow, Ali Safar 130 Literature of the Syrian Uprising, Robin Yassin-Kassab 138 Loneliness Pampers Its Victims, Dara Abdullah 145 Have You Heard the Testimonies of the Photographs, about the Killings in Syria?, Fadia Lazkani 149 Regarding the Pain of Others and Damascus 15 Feb 2012 19:47:31, Khaled Barakeh, Photographs by Jens Steingasser 157 I'm Positively Sure about the Event, Rasha Omran 165 Two Cartoons, Ali Ferzat 168 On the Intellectual and the Revolution: An interview with Yassin al-Haj Saleh 172 Cocktail, Comic4Syria 181 Lifetimes Stolen, Yara Badr 192 Letter for the Future, Mazen Darwish 202 Daily Occurrences, Mohamad Omran & Golan Haji 205 Song in the Revolution 210 'Come on Bashar, Get Out!', Qashoush 211 'Female Refugees', Monma, Al-Raas and Al Sayyed Darwish 214 The Lure of the Streets, Hani al-Sawah 220 Tashriqa: Prayer for Homs, Faraj Bayrakdar 222 From the Outside Looking In, Dan Gorman 224 Youssef from the Inside, Paintings by Youssef Abdelke, Photographs by Nassouh Zaghlouleh 235 Art & Freedom, Amer Mattar & Artists 240 Syria's Imperfect Cinema, Chad Elias & Zaher Omareen 257 Who Wants to Kill a Million?; Diaries of a Little Dictator, Masasit Mati 269 A Plate of Salmon is Not Completely Cleansed of Blood, Rasha Abbas 276 The Smartest Guy on Facebook, Aboud Saeed 279 Stencilling Martyrs 284 Acknowledgements 290 About the Contributors, Translators and Editors 291 Permissions 299 Index