Culture in defiance: Continuing Traditions of Satire, Art and the Struggle for Freedom in Syria

For those of you who are in Amsterdam or just passing by on June 4th there is a must-follow event happening at the Prince Claus Fund Gallery.

It`s the opening of an art exhibition dedicated to the creative struggle for freedom in Syria, which goes under the title of  “Culture in Defiance: Continuing Traditions of Satire, Art and the Struggle for Freedom in Syria.

I`ve had the honor to join the group of curators who have put together lots of creative works (films, music, visual art, graffiti, cartoons.etc) produced by Syrians since the beginning of the Syrian uprising March 15th 2011. Malu Halasa,author of the amazing art book “Secret life of Syrian lingerie“, called me after I gave a presentation in London about Syrian user-generated creativity. She was very enthusiastic about the idea of putting together as many creative works as possible speaking of the “new Syrian wave” of creativity that has sprout out of the uprising. Thanks to her energy and enthusiasm, together with expertise of Syrian curators Aram Tahhan and Leen Zyiad, we have put together a good amount of songs, visual art works, graffiti works, films, photos. There is a publication coming up  that Malu has curated, where I have written an article about user-generated creativity in the context of the Syrian uprising. I hope I was able to give at least an idea of the amazing anonymous people whose works I see every day blossoming over the Internet.

Syrian cartoonist Ali Farzat, also a Prince Claus Foundation`s laureate, will open the exhibition on June 4th together with Malu.

We are planning an academic symposium with a series of light evening lectures in the context of the exhibition. It looks like it will be sometimes in October, I`ll post the date as soon as possible. Syrian guests specialized in creative films, advertising, etc will join us for debate sessions on creative resistance in Syria.

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