SHAMIYAT!
PEOPLE, PLACES AND THINGS FROM SYRIA

VIDEO INSTALLATION IN THREE EPISODES

SYRIAN PEOPLE! (8’50’’)

SYRIAN PLACES! (8’50’’)

SYRIAN THINGS! (8’50’’)

EXHIBITED @ MIDDLEASTNOW!, CINEMA LA COMPAGNIA, FLORENCE, APRIL 4-9 2017

SHAMIYAT! People, Places and Things from Syria is a video installation created for Middleastnow!, the festival focused on cinema, art and culture from Middle East, held in Florence every year. SHAMIYAT! is exhibited in the hall of Teatro La Compagnia, the major venue of the Festival. 

For this purpose, the images and the blow-ups of SHAM SHAM are reworked and turned into a set of three videos which slow rhythm demands the flow of visitors to stop and observe Syria, as it used to look, before things went tremendously on, in the meantime.

In this video installation, Syrian people, places and things are shown in the total absence of violence, captured in their normal and daily beauty, as experienceable, until a few months before the ongoing destruction begun 6 years ago.

SHAMIYAT! is composed of a limited selection of pictures, chosen from a larger set that was shot during fall and winter 2010 in a large part of Syrian territory: Damascus, Aleppo, Palmyra, the Euphrates Valley, along the Iraqi border and in several other places. The photographs are grouped in three episodes, according to the subject they portray - SYRIAN PEOPLE!, SYRIAN PLACES!, and SYRIAN THINGS! – and are shown in their original version (panoptic view) and as two blow-ups.

The pictures were shot with digital or analogic cameras; during an accident occurred in Syria, the films were damaged and the results are still visible as white stains and scratches.

Brief texts accompany the blow-ups to highlight some details that are visible, but not necessarily seen, in the photographs. The style of the brief texts locates them halfway between the dictionary’s definition and the Japanese tradition of Haiku.

All the texts were composed in Milan, after a few years from the obliged return from Syria.