[This is part of a collection of multi-media items that have circulated on Syrian social media networks over the past two years of the uprising. The collection does not necessarily reflect the views of Jadaliyya, but represents salient themes and recurring motifs.]
On 26 September 2012, an explosion ripped through the headquarters of the army chief of staff, opposite the Institute of Advanced Theatrical Arts, shattering glass windows in the Institute and causing extensive damage. Parts of the Institute have been repaired since the explosion, but just last month authorities initiated more comprehensive renovations. The following video is a strikingly unsentimental reflection on and performance of nostalgia.
Picture of torn Bashar poster in Raqqa
Raqqa is a province in Syria that had seen relatively little turmoil since the start of the Syrian uprising. It was considered one of the few "safe zones" in Syria, with many refugees flocking there from adjacent areas due to its relative stability. This changed in early March, 2013, when Syrian rebels announced that they had captured Raqqa. In celebration, Raqqa residents took to the streets and toppled a statue of Hafez al-Assad, and climbed to the top of this enormous billboard of Bashar and tore it down.
[Image from the Deir Ezzor Coordinating Commitee.]
The Strong Heroes of Moscow
The name chosen by the producer/s of this clip, "The Strong Heroes of Moscow," as well as the lyrics, parody the Syrian regime`s propaganda and the discourse of its backers.
Michel Kilo Interview on Dubai Media
Prominent opposition figure Michel Kilo tells a story from his experience in Syrian regime prison in an interview with Dubai Media. The story is of a child he met who was born and raised in the prison, and was unfamiliar with basic concepts from the outside world.
Bombs for Bicycles
A young boy in Douma makes the best out of a bad situation by fashioning a bicycle out of an aerial bomb dropped on Douma.
[Image from Lens Young Doumani.]
El Rass - Nation of Injustice
A rap song by El Rass, who hails from Tripoli, Lebanon, about the Syrian uprising. In it, he declares solidarity with the Syrian people in their uprising against the Assad regime, and criticizes the opportunism of March 14 in Lebanon, the house of Saud, and the Muslim Brotherhood, claiming that Syrians rose up for freedom and not for them. "We are not in need of Al Jazeera, the situation is clear from Beirut," and "My land is one from al-Jalil to Qasioun, and the nation of injustice is one, from dictators to Zionists."
Yasqut Kil Shi - Down With Everything
One of Kafranbel`s famous signs from October 14, 2011 where they exhibit their utter frustration: "Down with the regime and the opposition…down with the Arab and Muslim Ummah…down with the Security Council…down with the world…down with everything."
[Image from the Kafranbal Coordinating Committee.]
Mawtini for Assad`s Syria
The song "Mawtini" (My Homeland) is a well-known song throughout the Arab world that people sing to celebrate their homeland. It is the national anthem of Iraq, and is also sung in Palestine, Syria, and Algeria. This video is a parody version made by Syrians. Whereas the original song celebrates the beauty and splendor of one`s homeland, the Syrian version pokes fun at this by instead claiming that "my homeland" is rife with corruption and dictatorship. "My homeland...my homeland...the dollar, the dinar, the riyal, and property is their main concern. Us being poor, hungry, tortured, and burned alive are their slogans."
Revolution of Breaking Heads
Aleppo is a city that has perhaps seen the worst transgressions by the armed rebels. As a result, there is a lot of tension between the "civil" nonviolent activists of Aleppo and the armed opposition. Graffiti from Aleppo that reads "Revolution of Breaking Heads," exhibits this tension. A hammer that has the word "the people" over it smashes the heads of a chauvinistic rebel and a Salafi.
[Image via Lens of a Young Halabi.]
Debke from Sawran
The caption for this video reads “Even if the teachers at the Institute of High Theatre Arts and the ‘Ornina band and the Inana band could possibly become Jabhat al-Nusra, the people from Sawran who are dancing debke here could never become Jabhat al-Nusra, just considering the levels of artistic refinement they show here. Damn the cultural, literary, intellectual, and political elite, truly the “simple” people [of Syria] are more refined than they will ever be.”
SouriaLi is a non-profit online radio operating from outside Syria since November 2012. It seeks to offer a coverage of a wide range of topics, ranging from arts to public affairs. Its frequent programs are in Arabic, suggesting that the target audience is primarily Syrian. Though it has an anti-regime stance, the channel rarely focuses solely on the politics of the moment.
Daraya’s Local Grapes
This short film covers “’Anb Baladi,” a magazine produced by a group of female activists in Daraya, a city near Damascus. Darayya, famous for its grapes and non-violent resistance movement, has witnessed some of the most brutal violence in the country. The women of “’Anb Baladi” discuss the difficulties of publishing despite security measures and shortages of print paper and ink.
Kafranbel Sign Room
The town of Kafranbel in Idlib is renowned for the signs its residents bring to their weekly protests. Written in English and Arabic, Kafranbel`s witty signs have many different messages, from commenting on international hypocrisy regarding Syria, to criticizing the opposition. In the following picture, a resident of Kafranbel stands in a room filled with different posters from their protests.
[Image from the Kafranbel Coordinating Committee]