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Concert and Talk Back ‘What Can the Arts Do for Transitional Justice?’

Concert by Damast Duo 

Violinist Shalan Alhamwy and accordionist Jonas Malfliet found each other in music and humanity! Damast (Damask in English) is a textile that originally comes from Damascus in the middle ages and has become very popular in the top European fashion houses.

This cultural exchange is also popular in this duo. Shalan studied Western classical violin training, Arabic and Turkish music. Jonas’s musical comfort zones are also impressive, as is his passion for music as a community practice and music stages and ethnos. In their 3 albums: “Safar” (Travel, 2018), “Birds of Passage” (2020) and “Berenjacht” (Bear Hunt 2023) they explore melancholy, virtuosity, humor, friendship and stories through music.

Talk back ‘What can the arts do for transitional justice?’

Transitional justice initiatives are frequently accompanied by a multitude of artistic and cultural expressions. Artistic practices can contribute to the recognition of experiences of harm, allowing for the recognition of these experiences, people’s rights and their vulnerability. Arts can provide a platform for affected communities to express their experiences and justice needs, contributing to memorialisation and truth-seeking. This is especially important when formal avenues for justice and accountability are limited.

In this talkback, Shalan Alhamwy (violinist from Syria), Dr. Brigitte Herremans (postdoctoral researcher) and Dr. Paul Gready (Professor at the University of  York) reflect on the importance of artistic practices in the Syrian context.