STORIES & POETRY - On March 15, 2011, the demonstrations in Syria started. The world now seems to lose attention to Syria and especially the stories about the uprising have gone to the background. With the exhibition Cartooning Syria, we want to bring these stories to the attention again. The cartoons tell the uprising and war in Syria through the eyes of Syrians. During the opening, some of the cartoonists will tell the story behind their work.
The exhibition Cartooning Syria shows cartoons and projections of more than three hundred cartoons from 39 artists. Some still date from the early days of the protests in 2011. Most cartoonists have now fled their country, especially after the arranger Akram Raslan was arrested in 2012 and he was murdered in prison in 2013. They now live all over the world, from Australia to Norway, from Western Europe to Canada and the United States. But some still live in Syria. During the opening, the journalist Mais Katt talks to cartoonists Sameer Khalili and Amany al-Ali (via Skype) about the stories behind their work. With artist and archaeologist Theo Feyter, Mais talks about the symbolism behind the chair, which can be seen in various cartoons. The new book ‘Cartooning Syria’ is presented and the Palestinian-Syrian poet Ghayath Almadhoun contributes from his own work. Afterwards, there is the opportunity to talk and have a drink and there are Syrian snacks from restaurant Layali-Al-Sham.
About the speakers
- Sameer Khalili was a graphic designer in Syria and started making cartoons when the war started. His cartoons mainly show the emotional side of war. Now he lives in the Netherlands where he follows an ICT course. He still draws cartoons.
- Amany al-Ali lives in Idlib. She draws on social and comical situations in Syria. From February to March a large part of her work can be seen in the exhibition ‘The Syrian Apple’ in Machester.Ghayath Almadhoun is a Palestinian-Syrian poet, born in Damascus. He has lived in Stockholm since 2008. At the moment he is staying in Amsterdam as a Writer in Residence at NIAS, where he is working on his fifth poetry book in Arabic. Earlier he published, among others, ‘Weg uit Damascus’ and ‘Ik hier jij daar’.
- Theo de Feyter is a Dutch artist and archaeologist. He has traveled through Syria for many years and will talk about the symbolism of the chair in the cartoons.
- Moderator is Mais Katt. Mais is an investigative journalist from Syria. She is chairman of the Syrian Dreams foundation.
About the exhibition
The exhibition Cartooning Syria was created by the Syrian Dreams foundation. The exhibition has already existed in many places in the Netherlands and beyond. Recently the book Cartooning Syria was released, in which all cartoons are printed.