Since 2015, SPACE has collaborated with the documentary film festival HUMAN, a collaboration we are immensely proud of. We are happy that this collaboration is continuing this year as well with two events on narrative wars and the role of Norway in prosecuting war crimes committed in Syria.
February 25, 8:15 pm. Vega Scene
Why should we watch films about war and unbearable human suffering?
The Syrian war is not only fought with guns and bombs, but also with words and narratives. The Syrian regime is funding efforts to manipulate the Syrian story while others are documenting regime war crimes. Such “narrative wars” are not unique to Syria. They are a normal occurrence during and after violent conflicts, including ethnic cleansing and genocides.
The Holocaust, the Nakba and the Syrian war all have one thing in common: Efforts to document and remember these historical injustices have been crucial to get justice for the victims.
The film For Sama is a difficult, yet important, film to watch. It reminds us to ask critical questions such as: why is it important to document and bear witness to the horrors of the past? Who is responsible for preserving the narrative? Is it pursuable, or even possible, to agree on one grand narrative? Can preserved narratives and collective memories redeem the victims?
- Uğur Ümit Üngör, Professor of History at Amsterdam University
- Nadim Khoury, Associate Professor in International Studies at Lillehammer University College
- Cora Alexa Døving, senior researcher at the Norwegian Holocaust Center
- Moderator: Line Khateeb, SPACE Chair of the Board
February 27, 4:00 pm. Vega Scene
War crimes that go unpunished, leaves a crippled society. Countless human rights violations, and crimes have been committed in Syria since the beginning of the uprising in the spring of 2011. Those responsible remain largely unpunished.
In November 2019, a group of Syrian plaintiffs filed criminal complaints with Norwegian police and asked for investigations of named heads of Syrian intelligence services and other institutions responsible for torture and other grave abuses.
On this background, we ask politicians, legal experts, activists, and victims who have found protection in Norway, how Norwegian authorities and authorities in other democratic countries can contribute to fighting impunity in Syria.
- Ibrahim Olabi, Director of Syrian Legal Development Programme
- Brynjulf Risnes, lawyer, Matrix Advokater – Defense and Litigation Attorneys
- Sofie Høgestøl, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law UiO
- Gunnar Ekeløve-Slydal, Director of policies, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee
- Lawrence Almala Ali, torture survivor from Syria.
- Britta Redwood, Legal Fellow, European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR)
- Moderator: Stig-Arild Pettersen
The panel will be preceded by a screening of the documentary Syria’s Disappeared: The Case against Assad. Read more.