“Citizen Journalist”, a film by Salah Ashkar
The film, tells the story of a Syrian citizen who decides to risk becoming a photographer and cameraman in order to preserve and communicate the voice of the Syrian revolution in Aleppo. Over the course of four years the war turns him into a machine, stripped of his humanity, robotically churning out images of blood and tragedy, only for a traumatic experience to restore him to his senses. He films a group of twenty-two children during an exhibition of their paintings. Twenty-four hours later, their exhibition is bombed from the air and he returns to film their lifeless corpses.
I bear the camera like a shield: No one escapes the massacre, except the dead
I still remember—way back in the mists of the distant past—that warm feeling when I first picked up a camera. As though I was experiencing a prophecy that one day I would use this instrument until I wore it away to nothing. Back then I carried it like a sceptre; today I bear the camera like a shield. Today, I remember the first time I literally did this—bore it like a shield. I’ve forgotten many dates and events, but that day—June 26, 2012—stays engraved in my memory. At the end of a long and tiring day my feet led me,... more