Syrian artistic practices and the justice imagination

Talk by Brigitte Herremans at the LUCA School of Arts (Ghent) master seminar Thwarthed Fables.

The absence of freedom in Syria did not prevent dissidents from challenging state violence and human rights abuses. After the uprising in 2011, the tradition of dissenting arts flared up, culminating in a sharp rise in creative practices that directly address injustices. Brigitte Herremans analyses the potential of artistic practices in the Syrian context, where the uprising transformed into a complex civil war that the international community failed to address in a meaningful way, exposing Syrians to ongoing impunity. While Syrian artists face numerous obstacles such as prosecution and displacement, many artists continue to resist, bear witness and engage in truth-seeking. Herremans will discuss the idea that artistic practices can counter the erasure of victims’ experiences and feed the debate on justice in ways that are more representative of the experiences of victims. They can potentially open the justice imagination, i.e. what is conceivable in terms of justice and accountability, beyond present justice mechanisms and potentially beyond the judicial realm. In the talk Herremans will relate to the documentary For Sama by Wa’ad al-Kataeb and the novel Death is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa.

Please send an email to sarah.kesenne@luca-arts.be if you want to receive the Zoom link.

Date & Time

March 26, 2021

10:30 - 12:30


Organized by Sarah Késenne, LUCA School of Arts (Ghent)