Forum & films: Syrian Voices–The Revolution Lives On!

Wednesday 5 April 2017, from 5pm til 9pm.
John Woolley Building University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia 2050.

It is 6 years since the start of the Syrian uprising. Its brutal repression by the Assad regime has led to more than 400,000 deaths, and forced millions of people to flee their homes: within Syria, to neighboring Turkey, Lebanon & Jordan, to Europe, and beyond, including Australia. Many of them are intellectuals and artists, who are enriching their host-countries with their cultural productions, and whose experience can offer a strong contribution towards a nuanced understanding of the Syrian crisis. Artistic and cultural production can offer a counterpoint to mainstream narratives, which present these years as a binary conflict between the Assad dictatorship -generally labeled as “secular and anti-imperialist”- and reactionary Islamist groups like ISIS and Jabhat Fatah Al-Sham (formerly Jabhat Al-Nusra). These narratives neglect the long history of Syrian oppositions to the regime, deny their agency, and silence the countless number of Syrian people who continue to sacrifice everything for the original aims of the revolution: for the ousting of the regime, for democracy, & for social justice.
This event will bring together academics, political analysts and Syrian artists to give voice to these narratives, beyond simplistic and binary oppositions.

Forum: 5-7pm, Woolley Common Room.
Films: 7.15-9pm. Woolley N395

  • Forum Speakers:

– Lucia Sobera: Senior Lecturer in the Department of Arabic Language and Cultures, The University of Sydney. She will provide an introduction & overview.

– Miream Salameh: A Syrian-Australian visual artist who came to Australia nearly four years ago as refugee via Lebanon. Her artworks address issues of freedom, social justice and the suffering of people being crucified for loving life and liberty in her homeland, Syria. She tries to give a voice to all the oppressed and voiceless people.

– Maher Jamous: A producer and film-maker who fled Damascus five years ago and came to Australia as a refugee in March 2015. He focuses on movies, arts and culture to deliver Syrian voices, which struggle to have freedom and dignity. He will speak about his experience in documentary film making, documenting and delivering images of the revolution, and of the Syrian people to reach freedom.

– Hisham Jansis: now 18, he fled Homs with his family of 7 in 2013. After waiting two years in a large refugee camp on the Jordanian border, they were brought to Sydney as refugees. In 2015-16, he completed his HSC and topped the state in Extension Arabic. Now in first year of Nursing/Science at Sydney University, he will speak about both his experiences and his new project, Syrian Youth Refugees, which helps newly arrived refugees.

– Wjdan Kanafani: A Syrian artist who runs her own studio of photography. She left Syria to Australia 7 years ago and she will talk about her experience under the Syrian regime and her current artistic work.

– Enrico De Angelis: Media analyst at Free Press Unlimited (Netherlands) and co-founder of Syria Untold, will discuss about the complex relationship between media communication and new political subjectivities.

  • Films, followed by Q&A at the presence of the filmmakers:

– Far Away So Close To Homeland (about Syrian refugees, produced by Maher Jamous).
– Painting Syria (Artist portrait, Miream Salameh).

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Symposium, Wednesday 5 April 2017

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