During the war in Syria, artists played a big role in keeping the fight for freedom alive via peaceful and creative means such as street art, film-making, and documentation at a time when traditional media continued painting the picture as one of hopelessness. Their work has paved the way for possibly new strategies through which they could seek justice against crimes committed by the regime.
This study focuses on the areas permanently under Kurdish control with regime presence. These areas have experienced a quite different trajectory because they have been least affected by military fighting. While the human losses and damage suffered at the hands of ISIS should not be belittled, this area has hardly experienced aerial bombardments or fighting on the ground. Kurdish actors, for a long time tightly controlled by the Syrian regime, have been able to develop governance structures in parallel to the ones set up by the regime. While none of the Kurdish parties has openly called for independence understood as separation from Syria, Kurdish actors have come up with governance structures that explore the possibilities of autonomy within a federal state. They have come up with a constitution and an institutional design, and as far as it is in the range of their possibilities, they have been working on implementing it.
The deeper we dug with Tim into the stories of joy coupled with the losses, of hopes nipped in the bud yet re-emerging, the more we were convinced that this way, of not only sharing impressions but displaying the sweet and sour broader context of the reality behind these photos, really matters. For that, we paired Tim with Syrian writer and rapper Hani Al Sawah whose words helped create a personal narrative telling the story. The collaborative work speaks volumes about civilians doing what any civilian should be doing - living. Buying and selling. Diving into the unknown. Fishing. Barbecuing. Celebrating weddings and public holidays. Or for children: learning at school or simply spending time at a playground.
Heinrich Böll Foundation, a German organization close to the Green party, is currently offering a position (part time) in its Middle East Office (lb.boell.org ) in Beirut: Position: Project Manager at Heinrich Boell Foundation’s Middle East office in Beirut Working Time: Part time (20 hours) per week Starting Date: 01.08.2018
Over the past years, tens of thousands of men, women and children in Syria havee become subject to forced disappearances in Syria. All armed factions in Syria engage in arrests, abductions and human rights violations but none does so as systematcially as the Syrian regime. Despite its accession to the international convention against torture in 2004, conditions in regime prisons are excruciating. On July 12, the European Council for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and Heinrich Boell Stiftung Berlin screened the film "Syria's Disappeared" in which survivors of Syrian prisons and relatives of some tortured to death speak out.
It has been common to frequently come across assassination incidents in local Syrian news, which turned them into expected news. The daily killing and atrocities committed in Syria contributed to normalizing this phenomenon not only internationally but locally as well. However, the scale of these incidents and their significant impact on the local dynamics of the conflict make the assassination war in Syria stand out as an important issue that can’t be ignored.
Since February 26, a truce has largely prevailed in Syria. However, hardly any improvements to the humanitarian situation in the country can be observed to date. People continue to suffer starvation. That is part of the war strategy.