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CITY IN TRANSFORMATION

Saturday, March at 02:00 p.m. / Maison de la Culture, salle Boris Vian

Passageway
Diana Jabi
Syria / 2008 / 4’14

This piece may be interpreted on 3 different levels. Foremost, it is an exercise in the disassociation and the reinterpretation of music. Passageway is a video clip, it’s a musical piece dictating the pace, rhythm and concatenation of the image. Also Passageway is a flicker video; it consists of three shoots of roughly 15 seconds each that are cut, repeated, distorted, interlaced and overlaid. And finally, Passageway is a cry against routine; against unchanging cultural and social norms; it’s an act of the individual against the domination of the majority. Passageway is the internal restlessness of the ego imprisoned in the (once) unbending, unbreakable status quo of a dormant society.

Dasmacus
Michael Windle (Royaume-Uni) en collaboration avec : Bassel Tabakh, Erfan Khalifa, Fadi Al Hamwi, Iman Hasbani, Manar Wakim, Muhammad Ali, Nisrine Boukhari, Razan Mohsen, Rouba Khwais, Salam Al Hassam.
2010 / 7′

I learned that in the 1960s the standard graduation assignment for University of Damascus students was to make a series of images from their hometowns. With help from Abir and Nisrine at AllArtNow in the summer of 2010 we were able to assemble a small group of filmmakers to explore the city that they knew in order to make a kind of video portrait.

Sidewalks/Dérive
Diana Jabi
Syria / 2009-2010 / 4’14

To me, the Damascene sidewalks look like a work of art; they represent an entire ecosystem, nay culture or perhaps civilization, with its own set of unwritten rules and laws. It is an ecosystem parallel to our own, which we tend to overlook. The work can be seen as the synopsis of a summer of “flânerie” through Damascus. It’s also a visual concert, the first of many, where sound, or lack thereof, plays the main role. The movements I, II, IV (For Every Taste) are installations/performances of everyday life in the streets of Damascus. Movement III (Sabbara) is a homage to the prickly pear ad-hoc seasonal stands. Movement V (Passageway to BCN) is an intermezzo between two creative stages: visual and auditory, Damascus and the rest of the world.

Sucsamad
Erfan Khalife
Syria / 2010 / 3’12

Car Horn + Car Horn = 2 Car Horns
2 Car Horns + 2 Car Horns = 4 Car Horns
4 Car Horns + 4 Car Horns = 8 Car Horns
Etc.+ Etc. = 2 Etc.

Damascus/Barcelona
Diana Jabi
Syria / 2012 / 5′

To live in Cham is to be submerged in an infinite ocean of stories; of myths and legends; of histories and philosophies; of truths and realities; of tall tales and anecdotes. Without boundaries. Where does Cham end and one begin?
Nevertheless, if one listens carefully, one finds one’s place. Cham is every place.

A Letter Between Two Cities – Damascus/Vienna
Nisrine Boukhari
Syria / 2013 / 6’35

This video is from an ongoing project of several letters sent from Damascus to another city in the world, humanizing the city in its speech, researching the idea of a city in conflict.
We have not just been displaced because of the war but we are carrying the city inside us so therefore the city is displaced too.

Nor Human, Neither Stone
Muhammad Ali
Syria / 2014 / 3’25

In recent times, during my walks on the streets of Damascus, I see repeated scenes of people falling down, people of different ages and from different social levels, elderly or young, woman or man, walking alone or with their families. They all share the same experience of falling down in different ways, whilst carrying the same meaning for all of us.>I look at their tired faces, I don’t notice any feeling of shame and discomfort, as if they were enjoying their own tumble, indifferent to their own weakness, full of feelings of sadness and anger, just like the pedestrians who don’t stop anymore, they just throw a glance and continue their oppressed, exhausted walk as if everyone had realized that falling – in every sense of the word – has become such a regular scene in the daily life of a city where everything is falling down.

When City Moves to the Sky
Mahmoud Dayoub
Syria / 2014 / 4′

When I am thinking of Damascus, I look up to the sky where I imagine whole buildings moving up and blending into the sky to create a piece of arabesque.
I can’t stop imagining the desire of the city to follow its people who have moved up and found their place in the sky.

Everyday Life
Amer Al Akel
Syria / 2014 / 3’28

This is my city; where I used to live. With all its routine, mess, noise and silence.
This is the city that has witnessed my life in detail. Now they are trying to change its soul, character and features, it will become a stranger and not resemble us anymore. But we will go back and restore its true essence so it will reflect our lives once again as we desire.

In the Land
Maha Shahin
Syria / 2014 / 4’24

No longer does anyone of us visit her… No longer does the dew of the spring cover the wild herbs lying on the white marble; the black smoldering has left no place for anything else.
My mother… I have left her lying there alone in your land, Damascus! I have left with her my memories. How can I stop thinking of her and you?
I keep asking myself, will I visit you both one day, or have I lost my mother forever?