Burial Art – Assem Al Bacha
(Granada, Spain) Hidden behind a lavish Andalusian past is the story of “The Last Damascene in Granada”, the self-exiled sculptor Assem Al Bacha. Upon returning to Syria in 2011 after a long exile, Al Bacha did not know that fate had set him on a date with history. On one hand, he witnessed the rise of Syria as it struggled through the pangs of labor to birth a new nation, giving hope despite the despair. But on the other, he lost his brother, Namir, who was tortured to death in the regime’s dungeons, while Assem emerged from prison to tell the story. Before returning to exile, he dug up graves to his most prized possessions — his art work — in hopes they will survive theft and destruction in a place where humans cannot survive anymore.
[Video’s interview translated by Lilah Khoja. Written text translated by Naziha Baassiri. Subtitles by Sharif Ghazal & Augusto Musio].