Culture & Arts
Readers begin to appreciate what, and how much, they do not know. If this is Yazbek’s work between just March and July of 2011, how many bookshelves could the Syrian story fill? We feel awake splashing our face daily in water – we feel we have caught up having read the news. But every day we learn nothing further, nothing more – the water splashes skin deep. Yazbek’s book tattoos the mind.
Notwithstanding the overload of photographs especially through social media, there has in recent years also been a growing use of illustration to raise awareness, inform audiences and to tell stories.
Before the revolution, Khalifa sometimes had regrets about writing ‘The Shell’. But since then, “the revolution has obligated the regime to show off all the barbarism, without restriction, in front of the cameras.” And when “young readers […] told me very clearly that what prompted them to take part in the uprising against the dictatorship had been […] reading ‘The Shell’, my fears and troubled faded into the background. It was a relief.”
What happens to your Syrian identity now that you are living in a new country? How is your identity affected by the new country’s respective integration policies? Implicit in each of these questions is the notion of identity as a monolithic concept linked to nationality. The reality is never so simple.
Unlike most documentaries produced in Syria since 2011, the filmmaker doesn’t follow a single character story. She attempts to tell Syria’s story through her own experiences, convictions and emotions.
Akram believes that geographical identities are meaningless markers for defining people.
Whether between mountains and vast green areas, or cement and slowly built towers, Syrians in Lebanon seem endlessly stranded in an irredeemable state of patience and loss.