Representing Refugees 1: The World Captures Escapees at Its Funeral
The picture in which Aylan Shenu appears reveals a glaring conundrum: From which direction did the child touch the shore? If from the sea, his corpse seems to deny it because it faces the water; if from the mainland, his wet clothes serve as a further reminder that their wearer died drowned.
The child touched the shore from both directions simultaneously, for he travelled land and sea and fell in their environment, their milieu. And since his body then longed for the water, it seemed as though both sides were behind him; as though he had avoided them. And as he... more
I bear the camera like a shield: No one escapes the massacre, save 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
Marwan - a film by Alaa Chanana
Marwan worked at the buffet of the Spanish Cultural Center in Damascus “Cervantes” in the hope of realizing his dream of traveling to Spain and escaping from his home country. But after the formal decision of the Spanish government to shut down the Cervantes, Marwan finds himself without work, and without hope for a visa or opportunity to travel. He decides to open a small shop near his home and takes part in some protests at the beginning of the revolution, which eventually led to his detention for several days by the Syrian security forces. On the advice of his... more