The situation in Syria forced Jaber Al Azmeh to move from Damascus to Doha. But the artist continues to support the revolution in his country through his art. His latest exhibition in Dubai, “The Resurrection” offers insights into the hearts and minds of the Syrian people and the reasons why despite all odds they continue to protest against the current regime. The show features a series of black and white photographs of people representing a wide cross section of Syrian society, conveying their opinions about the current situation in their country and their hopes for the future. Cameras have played an important role in recording and transmitting what is happening in Syria. But unlike the pictures of violence and destruction seen in the media, Al Azmeh’s photographic artworks depict the spirit of the revolution and its effect on the social landscape of the country.
Al Azmeh began this project in 2011 while he was still living in Damascus. He contacted journalists, poets, artists, actors, doctors and people from all walks of life living in the country and abroad, and photographed them holding a copy of the “Al Baath” newspaper — a potent symbol of the Syrian government and its propaganda. His subjects are seen holding the newspaper upside down, with their personal thoughts and messages about the revolution written in bold, black letters on the front page.
“‘Al Baath’ means The Resurrection. And these pictures are a cynical reference to the true resurrection that we are all waiting for. Through false propaganda the government is trying to create rifts between different sections of society and to project this as a protest limited to specific groups. But my photographs demonstrate that all Syrians, regardless of where they come from, what religion they follow, and what they do, are working together to achieve freedom. This series documents the passionate spirit of the Syrian revolution and our abiding belief in building the Syria of our dreams,” Al Azmeh says.