A fortnight of exhibitions, film, theatre, live music, talks by writers, panel discussions and interactive art workshops exploring Syrian arts and culture before and after 2011.
After the attack at a concert last month, Manchester-based Rethink Rebuild Society presents two weeks of events dedicated to Syria. Among the highlights, a video conference from Damascus with renown writer Khaled Khalifa (read an interview with Khalifa here), as well as number of concerts and activities for children as well as for adults.
The 2011 revolution marked a turning point in Syria’s history that has resulted in unprecedented changes to Syrian society and to Syrians’ cultural identity. These shifts are, in turn, having a great impact on the arts and on culture both in Syria and amongst Syrian artists in exile. Much of the art that will be featured at the festival reflects the changes in Syrian arts and culture since 2011 and has been created by Syrians who have fled the country as a result of the war.
The news from Syria and the sadness, death, and misery that continues to pour out from the unrest must be juxtaposed against another vision of Syria – one that is filled with beauty, creativity and rebirth. This festival is a celebration of this hopeful, inspiring and imaginative face of Syria and the Syrian people and their rich contribution to the collective history of human expression.
Festival events take place in a range of venues across Manchester, and we welcome all ages. While there is a small fee for entry to events, admission is free for refugees and asylum seekers of all nationalities.
Rethink Rebuild Society is a Manchester-based non-profit organisation that works towards improving the lives of Syrians in the UK. As you can read in their website: Our work began informally after the start of the uprising in Syria in March 2011, and we were formally registered in May 2013. Our work comprises of three distinct yet interrelated components: community support, advocacy, and education project. In the last 2 years, we have been actively involved in supporting Syrian refugees across the UK in every way we can. Our vision is to create an empowered, effective and highly regarded Syrian community in Manchester. Celebrating Syria is part of this vision.
This is the first Syrian arts and culture festival in the UK showcasing the work and talent of Syrian artists.
Entrance to the events are a few pounds, free for refugees and asylum seekers. The full program can be found at www.rrsoc.org and www.celebratingsyria.org