Syria: between political catastrophe and cultural resilience – Karam Nachar


While the Syrian war seems to embody all that is complex, alien, and thus incomprehensible about the Middle East, the five-year-old brutal conflict can in fact be explained through a set of global historical factors that emanate from the world made by Europe in the wake of World War One. This talk will shed light on some of these global factors and their local manifestations, all while emphasising their inherently contradictory nature: destabilising Syrian politics to the point of disaster, while generating much cultural angst and productivity. More about the event.

Misreading Syria: Sectarian Secularism – Thomas Pierret

Persistent claims that the Syrian regime is “non-sectarian” result from a failure to distinguish between sectarianism as an explicit ideology, and sectarianism as an often unspoken technique of power. Whereas the Assad family has generally purported to act in the name of “national unity”, and accordingly minimised discursive expressions of sectarianism, its actual practices throughout the last five decades have consisted in the systematic manipulation of sectarian divides for the purpose of regime survival. More about the event.

The Question of Syria – Syria Are… | Media Roundup

In case you missed The Question of Syria – Syria are.., here is a snapshot of the event’s media coverage; the main articles and interviews with our guests (in Norwegian): – Ingen løsning med Assad – Mazen Darwish, Dagsavisen Den internasjonale debatten om Bashar al-Assads rolle i framtidens Syria har …

The Creative Memory of the Syrian Revolution – Sana Yazigi

Sana Yazigi – Oslo, 26 September 2015

There is no political power without control of the archive, if not of memory. Effective democratization can always be measured by this essential criterion: the participation in and the access to the archive, its constitution, and its interpretation” Jacques Derrida

Since March 2011, Syria has witnessed deep cultural mutation; forms of expressions have evolved trying to respond to the eventful Syrian uprising. Artistic and cultural production have been a vital tool of political resistance, and so is archiving this production.

What is the Creative Memory of the Syrian Revolution? What are the characteristics of ‘expression’ in times of tyranny and freedom? How do socio-political and cultural factors affect ‘expression’? How do we see the change on people’s ‘expression’ and behaviour since 2011? What would be the role of memory in the future? What is the link between justice and memory?

For more details about the event, please see this page.

The Space to Think of Syria: Art and Culture in times of Revolutionary Turmoil

This article was originally published in Norwegian in Ny Tid – By Rana Issa Her father’s yellow car was the only place that Sana Yazigi felt safe enough to think. In Assad’s Syria, walls have ears and homes are not safe. Thinking is a crime in Syria, a crime punishable …