Ce festival annuel se focalise chaque année sur une métropole arabe. Des villes à l’histoire riche et culturellement diverse, qui occupent un rôle prépondérant dans le monde arabe contemporain. L’édition 2019 fera entendre la voix pressante d’artistes de Damas en Syrie et de la diaspora syrienne afin que les récits et traces ne se perdent pas dans la violence.
In the annual MOUSSEM CITIES festival, Moussem Nomadic Arts Centre and its partners focus on a metropolis from the MENA region. Following a focus on Tunis, Beirut and Casablanca, the 2019 festival will be taking Damascus as its starting point.
It goes without saying that this requires a different approach and contextualisation. Damascus and Syria, a city and a country that have been at war for almost eight years, with a totally dislocated society and millions of people displaced. Damascus, a city with a social fabric that has been brutally torn apart and a shattered artistic scene. A city from which numerous artists have fled or have been forced to flee. A city with a hugely rich and culturally diverse history whose artistic dynamism until recently played a leading role in the region.
Moussem Cities will not attempt to normalise Damascus, but will look at the geographical place with its complex current events from a different angle. In this edition of the multidisciplinary festival, we will be looking even more explicitly from the artist’s perspective. With performances, concerts, exhibitions, lectures and discussions, we will be presenting work from a scattered artistic scene.
Right from the start, the development of this programme came about collaboratively and as a result of extensive dialogue with the artists and cultural actors who know Damascus inside out, those who have lived and worked there, and those who are part of this splintered artistic scene or who are still working there in difficult conditions with precious little room for manoeuvre. This has resulted in a unique collaboration with challenging and multi-layered projects. Moussem Cities Damascus has chosen to take the region as its starting point and is beginning in Beirut. The Lebanese capital, which is often the only haven for Syrian artists, but is also the place in which many Syrians are condemned to live, due to the impossibility of either travelling further or returning home. Moussem also wants to draw attention to those artists in the southern. Mediterranean region who work in difficult social and political conditions and who, because of the European Union’s political agenda and the tightening of the asylum policy in the countries of the region, are even more limited in their freedom of movement.
Moussem Cities has no political agenda and we do not seek to come up with answers. At the same time, we in no way ignore the immediate reality of the war, the history of the dictatorial regime, or the misery that is being caused in the region as a battleground for geopolitical interests. The same is true of the artists, who are determined and who in their work attempt to find a language for the many stories that they have experienced, and to reflect on the events in their city or country. Artists who are spread out across the world mostly out of sheer necessity, and whose work attests to an astonishing vitality and imaginative power. Our goal is to allow the pertinent voice of these artists to be heard.
Program ? http://damascus.moussem.be/en
Contact : https://www.facebook.com/moussem.kunstencentrum/
Website : damascus.moussem.be/en