A Decade of Arts | Research Papers about Syrian Artistic Production


Within the ‘Research: to Strengthen the Culture of Knowledge’ Programme, in partnership with AFAC - the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences

A Decade of Arts is an open invitation to researchers from Syria and the Arab region to contribute with research papers and studies on art production and projects related to the Syrian context during the past decade. The contributions will be released under a special edition of the Research to Strengthen the Culture of Knowledge Programme and as part of the programming for the tenth anniversary of Ettijahat, in partnership with AFAC - The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences.

The purpose of the invitation is to receive research papers from art researchers, artists and art curators from the Arab Region interested in artistic questions related to the Syrian Context. This will hopefully enable art practitioners and creators to reflect on the major transformations in the Syrian ‘artistic project’ and to learn about some issues pertaining the role of arts and their presence in public life.

To check the Research Framework and the jury statement, click on the files at the bottom of the page

Selected Research Proposals

Alaa Rashidi | A Decade of Syrian Theatre in Theatre History

The research paper looks into Syrian theatre productions of the past ten years, in the context of world theatre. The research analyzes Syrian theatre scripts and shows between 2011 and 2021 on several levels: theatrical genre, theme, theatrical discourse, and theatre techniques, among others. It attempts to cover a plethora of theatrical genres produced by writers and directors from Syria over the past decade. The research tackles trending themes in Syrian theatre, which was the product of the country's social and political circumstances. The research also analyzes the underlying political and social discourse in Syrian theatre scripts and shows. It attempts to cover scripts and shows that adopt different political and social stances, with genres ranging from propaganda theatre, agitprop, and theatre of opposition or revolution. The research essentially seeks to compare Syrian scripts and performances between 2011 and 2021, with international scripts and performances that are similar in technique, theme, or political and social discourse.

Bio: Alaa Rashidi is a novelist, researcher, and trainer in journalistic writing and editing techniques. He published several novels: (Last Game Before the Grammar Homework, 2013), (Play Fantasies Between Magic and Storytelling, 2017), (Fictional Stories on Music and Civilization, 2021). Rashidi works as an art researcher with several research centers and specialized journals: (Religion and Art in Syria in 100 years, 2020), (Syrian Art Body: The Body in Contemporary Visual Arts, 2019), (Art Compilation on the Presence of Detention in Syrian Art since 2011), (Reception in Syrian Contemporary Theatre, 2021). His repertoire in this field includes (Factors of Civil Peace and Civil War in Syria, 2014). Rashidi writes for several newspapers and websites on literature, art, and theatre critique.

Ammar Almamoun | Transformations of Silence in Syria’s Demonstration Ground: The Impact of Silence on performance and politics under persecution laws

This research paper tackles silence, in all its diversified definitions. It juggles between the different definitions in a bid to identify some of its aspects in Syria, along with how it is politically employed by the Regime in the public spaces and daily life, as a disciplinary tool in the public sphere and a symbolic hegemony technique. Silence is manifested as a “sign”, which was translated into a performance. After the Syrian revolution, Silence acquired political meaning and disaggregated protestors into "Silent obedient citizens/spectators" and "protesting enemies with a strong voice/performers". This division becomes clear through the manifestation of Silence in the evidence we have of the protests in Syria: Photos, recordings, testimonials, etc.

The research also seeks to identify silence and its transformations, as a performance tool utilized by protesters and transformed from a sign of hegemony and fear to a form of outcry and aesthetic expression, thus becoming a tool for survival that also undermines political authority.

Bio: Ammar Almamoun is an independent journalist living in Paris. He is a cultural and literary critic and has written several articles on both, particularly within the Syrian context. Almamoun is also a cultural researcher and works with academia as well as several Arab foundations.

Eylaf Bader Eddin | Syria’s Prison Song

This research seeks to outline theoretical and practical frameworks for Syria's prison music, as a new music genre that has never been researched or studied. The research examines cultural practices in prisons, especially those involving music, through semi-systematic interviews with victims who survived the Regime’s detention centers. Given the nature of the Syrian political regime, its persistence for long decades, and its practices of detaining victims and depriving them of their rights to travel, move, or flee the country, this type of research never really caught momentum until after 2011, predominantly through prison literature. The latter was mainly published from outside of Syria, which served as the only gap and the lens documenting penitentiary experiences in Syria. The research raises a lot of questions on memory, remembrance, memory places, trauma, and its manifestation in cultural practices. The latter is seen as a space that links the past and the present through an artistic cultural product that is either from the past or is still being practiced outside detention or in current exile. As such, the research establishes a framework and boundaries for Syria's penitentiary music, using the anthropology of music and archiving approaches tackling the music cultural practice.

Bio: Eylaf Bader Eddin is a postdoctoral researcher at the “Transition Points in the Syrian Project” research group (funded by the German Research Foundation at the Center for Near and Middle-Eastern Studies at Marburg University). Bader Eddin’s research revolves around Syrian cultural practices, including music and literature. He studied English, Arabic, and Comparative Literature in Damascus, Paris, Provence-En-Aix, and Marburg. His doctoral thesis was entitled “Translating the Language of the Syrian Revolution 2011 – 2012” and was defended in 2020. In 2018, he authored the book “When they Cried ‘forever’: The Language of the Syrian Revolution” in Arabic, upon receiving the Sadiq Jalal al-Azm Memorial Award for Cultural Research from Ettijahat – Independent Culture. His repertoire includes several research papers in Arabic, English, and French.

Firas Jabbour | Historical and Mythological References in Syrian Contemporary Artwork in the Diaspora during the Last Decade

The research tackles historical and mythological references in Syrian visual arts in the diaspora over the past decade. In light of the social fragmentation in Syria after the war, social and political discourse witnessed new attempts to reconsider cultural legacy, a phenomenon that has undoubtedly had a ripple effect on Syrian art production. The research believes that several visions on the mythological manifestations or symbols, and historical themes have marked Syrian Fine Arts over the past few years. While some recall serenity through history, others offer new perceptions. Some even borrow historic symbols to come up with a special celebrated vision that tackles one of the most pressing issues in the Syrian public sphere, i.e., identity. The research attempts to examine and analyze this phenomenon in-depth, to identify its scale, nature, sources, and trends.

Bio: Firas Jabbour is a PhD Student and a research assistant at the University of Tübingen in Germany, under the project (The Role of Culture in Early Expansions of Human), with the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences. Jabbour’s doctoral studies focus on The Development of Upper Paleolithic Behavior in Armenian Highlands at Aghitu-3 Cave in Egypt. Jabbour worked as a translator in Germany and Egypt. And he has interests in the Cultural sector as he worked Syria in the Cultural Forum for People with Special Needs within the program for the cultural integration of handicapped people in the cultural life of Aleppo, Syria.

Iyas Shahin | Drama Interpretations of the City: The Memory and Mental Image of Damascus in Local Drama Productions and Architecture

The image of the city and memory have always been at the core of all discussions on the transitional periods and involuntary change across societies. Diversified artistic and cultural products are also seen as a strong enabler in shaping society’s mental image of the city. The most crucial of the products can be found in “drama production”, as their visual and structural content offers a special interpretation of the city, reflecting a specific mood and helping shape an impression that is not necessarily objective and reasonable. Such an impression is no less impactful than architecture in shaping society’s mental knowledge of the city. The research employs a special approach to examine the image of the city, as advertised by local architecture and drama, at a time where any production in both fields is reserved to a group whose legitimacy and spatial and temporal awareness are questionable.

Bio: Iyas Shahin is an architect and the co-founder of IWlab, a multi-disciplinary entity focusing on cultural and architectural design since 2010. Shahin received a Ph.D. in Architecture in 2017 and is a member of the teaching staff at Damascus University and Al-Rasheed University. His repertoire includes several research papers, cultural works, and exhibitions revolving around the city. As a Damascene citizen, he takes a strong interest in the role of architecture in conflict. Shahin also takes interest in art as a medium for expression and participation as a viable course of action. Among the works strongly expressing his views: City Incarnation, Architectural - Cognitive Map of Damascus, Untold Stories / Forgotten Maps, One Square Meter in Damascus, and Informality Archigraphy. Shahin currently narrates architectural novels on Damascus City, as part of his project “Archi-Theatre”.

Jumana Al-Yasiri | Syrian Artists in France: Problematics of History, Identity, and Representation (2011 – 2021)

Between the French Mandate over Syria (1920 – 1946) and the closure of the French Embassy in Damascus in 2012, the two countries developed deep and complicated ties, rooted in orientalism currents that peaked during the 19th century and the early 20th century. These ties could have made France the most viable candidate to host Syrian Artists. And while this phenomenon was prominent at the onset of the civil movement, it unfortunately soon spiralled into something completely different. As such, newly emigrating Syrian artists were distributed between Paris and other French cities, for purely administrative and economic purposes. Many worked predominantly outside France or in spaces dedicated to refugees and the exiled. Therefore, the Syrian narrative lacked space in French showplaces, despite decades of the French presence in Syria, as if the French were meeting Syrians for the very first time. The research paper strives to reflect on the causes and meaning underlying this absence, its direct link to the colonial past, and its repercussions on the region.

Bio: Jumana Al-Yasiri is a Paris-based independent curator, researcher, writer, and translator. Hailing from Syrian-Palestinian-Iraqi orgins, her publications deal with catastrophicism in the arts, the construction of identity in exile, and the geopolitics of imagination. She has also dedicated a large part of her research into the life and work of writer and painter, Etel Adnan. Jumana is a member of the inaugural Fellows cohort at the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown University, and she holds a B.A. in Theatre Studies from Damascus Higher Institute for Dramatic Arts, and a M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University Paris VIII.

Mohamad Omran | Transformation of the Place in Contemporary Syrian Art

The radical transformation of Syrian society over the past decades has forced a reconsideration of our definitions of some concepts and our relationship with them. The place is a concept which indicates the social sphere / built environment where we live, such as the city, town, village, neighbourhood, street, and home. It has lost the old characteristics which have not only marked us but also cultural expression during the Syrian crisis.

The concept of the place, embodied in the works of visual and contemporary artists over the past decade, has added new aesthetic features to contemporary visual arts in Syria, whereby destruction is a common theme in the majority of new works of art. This research will follow the evolution of the place as a concept, in the works of Syrian artists. It will also monitor sudden changes in this theme by analyzing a set of relevant artworks.

Bio: Born in Damascus in 1979, Mohamad Omran graduated from the Department of Sculpture in the Faculty of Fine Arts, at the University of Damascus in the year 2000. He also received a master's degree from the same Department in 2002, and a master's degree in the History of Contemporary Art from the University of Lyon II, France in 2009. Omran has authored several works on visual and contemporary arts, including several critical reviews published in Arab newspapers and websites. His repertoire also includes two research papers entitled "Maher al-Baroudi, an Artist Between Two Cultures: How Can We Read his Works?" and "The Image of the Tortured Body in Contemporary Syrian Art".

Omran has taken part in several solo and collective exhibitions in the Arab world and Europe. His work is part of many private and public collections, including the Ministry of Culture in Syria, the Royal Museum in Jordan, the Atassi Foundation in Dubai, and the British Museum in London. Omran currently lives and works in Paris.

Mona Merhi | Returning Home: Syrian Theatre from Syria

This research paper studies post-2011 theatre practices in Syria and examines the practical challenges encountered by artists residing in Syria, as well as aesthetic transformations and prominent themes between 2011 and 2021.

Bio: Mona Merhi is a doctoral candidate and instructor at the University of Washington. She is an author, researcher, theatre producer, and cultural activist. She has published articles on theatre and performing arts in several Arab and foreign newspapers and websites. She was commissioned to carry out a plethora of research projects and reports. Merhi presented several researches in several conferences, including the webinar “Revels and Rebels” which tackled middle eastern theatre and UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance. Merhi is also set to present three research papers in the upcoming months at the Association of Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR). She was awarded the 2021 support grant from the Simpson Center for the Humanities for her project C.O.M.R.A, and the 2021 Michael McQueen’s Writing Award. She was also awarded several grants from Culture Resource, along with the Ashoka Fellowship for Social Leadership for the initiative “Sahba” which encourages reading.

Mennat Allah Mansy | The Role of Citizen Media in Conveying Resistance Narratives on the Syrian Revolution through Digital Space

Digital platforms have assumed an essential role in all Arab Spring revolutions, including Syria’s. They offered a middle ground allowing citizens from all affiliations, to interact with their political and social circumstances, and express their ideas, visions, and beliefs. As a result, different forms of citizen media (Baker and Blaagaard) began emerging, using different means, including sarcasm, translation, and music, to convey alternative narratives that contradict the dominant regime's rhetoric. This research seeks to study the role of citizen media in conveying resistance narratives of the Syrian revolution through the digital space. It particularly examines three initiatives (Daya Altaseh, Free Syrian Translators, and Al-Mundaseen Band), through a qualitative comparative approach based on the sociological concept of narratives (Somers and Gibson; Bruner; Baker). The research also tackles similarities and disparities between the three initiatives, in terms of activists, objectives, and content.

Bio: Mennat Allah Mansy is a graduate researcher in translation policies at the Faculty of Literature (Department of English Literature), at Cairo University. She has more than 12 years of experience in translation and editing. Her academic research focuses on the descriptive cultural research methodology in translation studies, the relationship between translation, and the ideological dimension of jihadism and activism. Mansy has taken part in several academic workshops and courses on translation studies, along with other intersecting fields in humanities, including sociology, Islamic studies, as well as audiovisual and editorial media. These included "Intermediary Spaces: Foundations for Social and Cultural Transformation and Knowledge Production in the Arab World" organized by Leibniz – Zentrum Moderner Orient ZMO, and the summer course organized by the European Network for Islamic Studies (ENIS) and the Innovative Training Network (ITN) entitled ENIS/MIDA Summer School 2021 Spoken Image of/in Islam.

Nour Asalia | Syrian Contemporary Art Post-2011: Cause and Aesthetics

This study looks into the functions of art and its contribution to major humanitarian causes. The study also raises questions on the popular and elitist of contemporary arts, particularly in light of the prevailing circumstances, the ghost of war, and many Syrian artists choosing to manifest it in their work. The questions also revolve around the dilemma of art and ethics. The research assumes that Syrian art is anchored in a commitment to ethics, rather surpassed it in certain instances into a form of struggle, and that this phenomenon frequently overshadowed aesthetics. As a result, another question can be raised on the role and importance of critique and aesthetic philosophical analysis of the works in question, along with their mechanisms and implementation in the case of Syria.

Bio: Nour Asalia is an artist and expert in philosophy and the history of contemporary arts. She holds a master’s degree in the field from Université Paris VIII. She is also a doctoral candidate in the same field; her dissertation is entitled "Vulnerability in Contemporary Sculpting". Asalia also takes interest in Syrian contemporary art. Her most recent study on the latter is set to be published as part of a book authored by a group of researchers by the French Institute for the Near East (IFPO). Her previous studies were published in the Atassi Foundation Journal on Syrian Art and the peer-reviewed Qalamoun Journal, as well as in French on the Orient XXI website. Asalia has had academic interventions in Paris, at the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences as part of a special curriculum on Syrian art, the École des Beaux-Arts as part of a conference on Syrian arts, and the Rodin Museum as part of a scientific conference on the fragility of Picasso's paper works.

Samar Alumari | Linguistic Units on Events in Syria in Radio Drama: Airport Road Case Study

The current research proposal aims to identify the linguistic units pertaining to the Syrian conflict, in the radio show “Airport Road”, consisting of phrases, associations, expressions, references, and conversation forms, by disaggregating them according to their contextual uses across several axes including spatial, service, economic, social, security, and intellectual, as well as the nature of relationships between individuals and entities. The proposal offers an artistic sociological and linguistic product, as it documents via social radio drama the commonly spoken language under current circumstances. The research also documents the events where these linguistic units were particularly used. According to the researcher, this study is one of very few research papers to focus on the social and linguistic analysis of the language used in Syrian social drama.

Bio: Samar Alumari holds a Ph.D. in Teaching Arabic to Non-Native Speakers from the Higher Institute of Languages at Damascus University in 2020. She takes interest in the sociological and linguistic analysis of speech, as a way to employ its outcomes and some of its strategies in teaching Arabic to non-native speakers for general and special purposes. As such, her repertoire includes several peer-reviewed research papers on the subject.

Alumari currently works as an educational content developer and teacher of the local Damascene dialect to a group of foreigners working for international non-governmental organizations. She worked in the humanitarian field, as a program officer at the DRC's education program, a service provider at the NRC's education program, and as a volunteer with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

Shama Elrasheed and Mohamad Abdul Rahman | Face to Face: Arab Contemporary Arts and Freedom Concerns, Comparative Case Study on the Experience of Marwan Qassab and Kamala Ibrahim (1960 – 2010)

The study compares artists who have similar styles, experiences, backgrounds, and the world's reception of their experience. The study examines the works of artists Marwan Kassab and Kamala Ibrahim Isaac, where the reality of Arab citizens is manifested through the changes that use the human body, particularly the face, as a strong space for expression. The study looks for similarities in the works of both artists, particularly in the representation of human faces, in terms of age and gender, while taking into account any differences between their works. The study attempts to understand the connection between contemporary art and current political transformations in the Arab region. It also strives to answer questions on how Marwan Kassab managed to devise contemporary human problems in general, and those specific to the Syrian and Arab context, in an expressive language that has carried promises of liberty in the broader sense.

Bio

Shama Elrasheed from Sudan received a bachelor's degree in architecture and environmental planning in 2011 from the Omdurman Islamic University and a master's degree in engineering project management in 2015 from the Sudan University of Science and Technology (SUST). Her educational portfolio also includes a bachelor's degree in fine arts, Dyeing Department, in 2017 from the same university. She currently works as a lecturer in the College of Architecture and Environmental Planning at Omdurman University. Elrasheed has participated in several art and culture exhibitions, events, and activities in Sudan and abroad. She is a member of the Curriculum Review Committee and a member of the jury in several visual art activities held in Sudan in 2018 in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy.

In 2018, Elrasheed was awarded the art research grant (first edition) by the Arab Council for Social Sciences (ACSS) and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture. She co-authored a scientific study entitled "Ecology and the Stylistic and Conceptual Transformations in Sudanese Architecture (1980 – 2010), presented as part of the Fourth International Conference for Social Sciences held in Beirut in April 2019. Elrasheed’s interests are centered on the current status of contemporary and visual arts in the Arab world, and on critiquing architectural planning and design policies from the perspective of local cultures.

Mohamad Abdul Rahman is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design, Al-Neelain University - Khartoum. He holds a PhD in Linguistics, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (specializing in Illustrative Design), and a Bachelor of Arts (joint major: Linguistics and Psychology). He has published numerous studies in refereed Arab and foreign periodicals, participated in local and regional conferences, and received two research grants from the International University of Africa (2010) and the Arab Council for Social Sciences (2014).

Stefan Tarnowski | The Concept of Dignity in the Syrian Revolution

This research paper is a narration of discussions held between cultural practitioners and movie directors on the use of the concept of dignity in depicting the Syrian revolution. Like Wittgenstein, instead of examining the "basic meaning" of "dignity", the paper will study how this concept is used in different environments and circumstances by different individuals. The paper will follow how the concept of "dignity" first started as a common demand during the protests of 2011, while uses of the term before 2011 were rejected. After 2011, the paper argues that calling for dignity is an attempt to put a different set of standards to Syria’s envisioned future politics, rather than give priority to political and economic rights.

Bio: Stefan Tarnowski is a PhD Candidate at Columbia University’s Anthropology Department. His dissertation focuses on Syria since the 2011 revolution, and in particular on the relations between media technologies and political imaginaries. His ethnographic fieldwork with Syrian media activists and civil society organisations in Turkey, Lebanon and Germany was funded by a grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation 2018-19, and the German Orient-Institut Beirut 2019-20. He has also worked as a researcher, translator and subtitler for many artists and filmmakers.

Tala Shamseddin | Spatial Sounds: Studying Damascus’ Auditory Persona

The voices we hear in the city are those of the city itself, changing with time. From this perspective, we look at the city as a crucial element that continues to live throughout history. The voice of the city thus becomes an internal dialogue or even part of the subconscious. Analyzing and researching voices of the city will lead us to hear what the latter is trying to say at this point in history on a deeper scale, and to identify non-visible milestones that would allow us to devise a new map that cannot be envisioned when we only focus on the visuals. As such, the power of music, sound, and noise is used to represent the space, promote its identity, and delineate its boundaries, by linking it to different senses which can only help us understand the city and this auditory aspect of its persona further.

Bio: Tala Shamseddin graduated with a bachelor's degree in architecture from Damascus University in 2020. She has worked in architectural design at an engineering office in Damascus. She has taken part in several workshops on arts and architecture at Damascus University, as well as with other independent cultural organizations. Most recently she participated in a workshop held by Ubergony on City Production: The Conventional and the Exceptional, as well as another workshop on digital music notation and digital preservation of written music with Douzan Art and Culture. Shamseddin graduated from the Solhi Alwadi Institute of Music in 2013 and volunteers with the Nota Project, which focuses on documenting Syria’s auditory heritage.

Zaher Alkaei | Syrian Rap and Syria Post-2011

The Arab Spring marked a turning point in the contemporary history of the Arab world. Its impact was felt on the political, social, and cultural aspects of Arab societies. The diversified and widespread nature of art practices can reflect a rich and dynamic image of the societies which adopt them. They can represent a strong tool for different political and social powers. This research paper will focus on rap music in Syria, its evolution, and use to serve propaganda, social, and political objectives by several parties. The research raises several questions: What are the root causes underpinning rap popularity in Syria after 2011. What are the relationships that link Syrian rap to other forms of art, as well as political, cultural, and social life? Examining this phenomenon will allow us to better understand the impact of political, social, and cultural changes in Syria on Syrian art practices.

Bio: Upon receiving a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the Baath University in Homs (2013), with an emphasis on the violin, Zaher Alkaei started teaching the violin, as well as Arabic and classical music theory at private music institutes in Syria. He lives in Berlin, Germany where he is pursuing his research and music activities. In 2016, Alkaei spent some time as a visiting student at the University of Hans Eisler in Berlin where he studied classical music theory and deepened his knowledge of contemporary music. In 2017, Alkaei started his graduate studies in music science with the Humboldt University in Berlin, culminating in a master’s degree in 2021. In the same year, he published a study in the peer-reviewed Frontier Journal, co-authored by Doctor Matts Cosner on music division as a creative process in Arabic music. Alkaei is currently pursuing his studies in linguistics at Potsdam University in Germany.

Zaher Omareen | New Aesthetics in Documentary Filmmaking: Case Study on Syrian Video

During the initial stage of the Syrian revolution, many videos taken by journalist activists and citizens started spreading. These videos, which were posted on YouTube and several other social media platforms, contributed to setting a new aesthetic trend, with aesthetic visual and auditory features, largely differing from previous trends and practices. These were the result of the newfound relationship between “dangerous” events and audiovisuals. The research borrows the concept “Writing Degree Zero” from Roland Barthes (1977), to identify a special definition for what the research calls “Filmmaking Degree Zero”, whereby it identifies and analyzes this specific type of videos from the Syrian revolution across four axes: Low resolution, body language, external and internal sounds, and digital aesthetics. It also attempts to look at the concepts of death and fear as crucial enablers of the abovementioned aesthetics.

Bio: Zaher Omareen is a Syrian researcher and director. He works as a field war correspondent at Alaraby TV in London. Omareen holds a master’s degree in Media and Cultural Studies from the University of Sussex in England, as well as a Ph.D. in Media and Cinema from the University of London. He studied media in Syria, acquiring a bachelor's degree in Theatre Critique and Dramaturgy from the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus. He has produced and directed several TV movies, as well as documentaries from different areas of conflict around the world, including Sudan, Mexico. Iraqi Kurdistan, Lebanon, and Afghanistan. Omareen has also worked on several independent cultural initiatives in Syria and the UK. The book “Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline”, which he co-authored, was awarded the PEN International Association award. Omareen has also participated in several research papers and reviews in several peer-reviewed publications and scientific journals on subjects pertaining to cinema, video art, most recently in the peer-reviewed Screen Journal published by Oxford University.

Zuhar Aljundi | Study on the Syrian and Arab Contemporary Comic Art

Arab culture has always been defined by the depth of the word. As for the link between the image, as is the case in illustrated books, it did not emerge in the Arab region until later. The research examines Arab illustrated stories addressed to adults, tackling critical political and social themes. The theoretical research framework is based on the elements of Comic arts, which will be extracted from foreign models and other specialized artistic analytical publications and used to analyze Arab illustrated stories artistically and socially while focusing on the contemporary period preceding and succeeding the Arab Spring. This will help understand the current status of Arab comics, through qualitative models’ data, from field experts. The research aims to shed light on the reality of comic art in the Arab region and to understand its enablers, the art trends that affect it, and the social or psychological needs it fulfils from the perspectives of creativity and consumption.

Bio: Zuhar Aljundi is an Alumni of the Faculty of Architecture from Damascus University. She volunteered during her studies as an editor for the "22" Architectural and Student E-Magazine. In 2015, she studied at Ain Shams and Stuttgart Universities and obtained a double master's degree in Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design. In her thesis, she investigated the phenomenon of placing war memories in post-conflict cities. The results shed light on the importance of expressing conflict memory in peace-building processes. In addition to architectural studies, Aljundi has interests in comic art, which results in proposing this research to investigate the reality of this art in the Arab region as a popular artistic field for adults that expresses the lived reality and the vision of its makers for the present and future of the area.


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