The 4th edition of socially engaged art festival Syrien N’est Fait was held in Paris from July 31st to August 4th 2019. This year Syrien N’est Fait returned to Les Grands Voisins, but also to four new venues in Paris hosting exhibitions and DJ sets. Once again, an impressive crowd of Parisians from all backgrounds came out during the festival!
New venues for even more programming
This year the festival took place in 5 venues in Paris : les Grands Voisins, le Petit Bain, le Point Ephémère, la Galerie Fait et Cause and la Galerie Europia. Thanks to the new festival partners, we expanded the offering of exhibitions and DJ sets to include two club nights and several weeks of art exhibitions. The Galerie Europia hosted an exhibition of paintings by artists who live and work in Syria while the Galerie Fait et Cause showed work of Syrian photojournalists produced in Syria and Europe. The week-end was rich with events, including Saturday’s Syrian Electro Night, at le Petit Bain, and a projection and DJ set at le Point Ephémère on Sunday evening. Dance, theatre, poetry, literature, as well as concerts, conferences, projections, workshops, and Syrian food, centred around les Grands Voisins, giving Syrian art and culture new life in Paris.
Territory and imagination: words of artists and reporters
The festival’s theme of this year, “Territory and imagination”, gave us the opportunity to highlight the perspectives of the citizen reporters Zakaria Abdelkafi, Firas Abdullah (find his interview by Syria TV here), Ameer Alhalbi, Waad Alkateab, Abdulmonam Eassa and Nour Kelze. The media collaborative Guiti News featured these viewpoints in an article: “Mieux comprendre la Syrie grâce aux citoyens journalistes”. A panel discussion was dedicated to the topic, featuring several Syrian youth who became reporters, sharing their experiences.
For the festival’s 4th edition, film screenings included “A Memory in Khaki” by Alfoz Tanjour (read the Al Modon article about this) and “Haunted” by Liwaa Yazji. These cinema events offered unique vignettes of civilian life, trying to survive in Syria. Theater was also included with “Traverses”, a creation by Leyla-Claire Rabih, which offered a moment of discussion about our imagination and its stories. Reflection continued with Irène Labeyrie’s conference: “Imaginaire et création, destruction et recréation des espaces”.
Better understand the situation in Syria
As every year, Syrien N’est Fait offered conferences and discussions to better understand the situation in Syria. The current challenges of exile, impunity for crimes against humanity, and questions of reconstruction were at the center of the discussions, enhanced by researchers and jurists.
Syrien N’est Fait: a time to enjoy together
Syrien N’est Fait is also an occasion for poetry, with readings by female poets paying tribute to women in resistance. In a poetic display of travel and fantasy, artist Diala Brisly created a mural throughout the week that will travel to Lebanon, for children in refugee camps (you can listen to her interview by France 24 here). The choreographer and dancer Eyas Al Mokdad, performed his creation “Pause – Waqfeh”. And finally, plenty of time was reserved to party! This year Syrien N’est Fait worked with La6izi Community, a DJ collective that was featured throughout the week, and with Le Petit Bain to host an entire night of electro DJ set by Colonel Abu Diab, Boshoco and Tardud. Traditional music was also not absent, with the groups Bab Assalam and Rahhal (you can find their interviews by RFI and MDC here) diversifying the programme with traditional oriental melodies. Abo Gabi and Osloob brought us their exclusive creative genre, between electro, traditional music and rap.
Once again, Syrien N’est Fait inspired numerous cross-cultural meetings and discoveries, around the dekbé dance circle, over delicious Syrian food, and a variety of other ateliers and activities.