A thread of hope from Cerdanyola
From 19 Nov 2021 - 16 Jan 2022
November 19 marked the opening of the exhibition "Hope for Syria" at the Cerdanyola Art Museum, with the assistance of the Mayor of Cerdanyola Carlos Cordón Núñez, the association Amics del Museu d'Art de Cerdanyola, and Kudwa Association.
The inauguration was well attended by local people and the Syrian and migrant community.
The opening included the presentation of an exhibition: "Hope for Syria" and two artistic interpretations of the museum.
is a series of collages and woven works by Laura Jabbour, a Syrian artist, and Martina Pozzi, an Italian collagist, reflecting the destruction of the population, heritage, and therefore, culture in Syria after 10 years of war.
"The approach we want to give to this project has the artistic purpose of spreading and instilling a deep HOPE and FAITH in the hard process of REBIRTH of these sites" the artists describe the exhibition.
The project saw the light of day during the pandemic, in confinement.
The artists, while confined , were able to collaborate despite all the barriers they have faced.
They were able to connect on an artistic and human level in a time of confinement and uncertainty.
They chose 6 post-war scenarios of places of famous monuments and popular cities, destroyed by the war.
And because of the confinement, they worked in 2 phases.
Collage phase 1 - Martina created a collage of black and white images, with elements of vegetation, the symbol of hope, and flowers that "sprout among the ruins" in yellow, the color of strength.
Phase 2 embroidery- Like a wound, with a thread and needle Laura stitched the word AMAL أمل in Arabic on each collage, embroidering the word in different ways, following the landscape and the lines of the scenery.
The thread is earth-colored to "symbolize roots, resilience and stability."
The project was born from the connection of the artists, and they have first spread it on Instagram. With the support of the Kudwa Association, particularly on social media.
And ,with support from Mahmoud Assy, who connected with the museum of Cerdanyola, has managed to show the importance of the project.
"The word hope in Arabic "أمل " is integrated in each collage in a different way having as a common element only the first letter "أ" of the word Amal (hope in Arabic), which is always located in the place of a destroyed architectural element." LAURA
"filled these urban spaces with vegetation, a symbol of hope, covering with green the gray mantle that the war had left behind." MARTINA
Martina Pozzi is an Italian architect and collagist. Moved by a constant creative restlessness, she always dedicates more time to the "old style" collage, the only moment in which she feels truly fulfilled.
Laura Jabbour is a Landscape Architect, from Syria, she identifies mainly with Arabic calligraphy, using embroidered words to express her feelings and tell visual stories.
Laura chose the word LUZ in different languages
LUZ, LLUM, نور , LIGHT, LUCE,
embroidered with the color of the sun to describe optimism.
According to Laura, she chose LIGHT to tell the story of the museum's rebirth, the light that is projected by the museum's stained glass windows representing the journey, the changes and the recovery of the museum.
"To find HOPE follow the RISING LIGHT, don't lose it".
Matina, on the other hand, interpreted the history and the changes that the museum underwent, made by people and time, with a special collage.
Martina used old photographs depicting a historical era representative of the museum, with floral elements of pink, blooming from the ruins, like the museum.
Hope and Question:
In 2018, the United Nations estimated the cost of the war's destruction at about $388 billion, nearly 20 times more than the value of Syria's entire economy last year.
An estimated 6.2 million people internally displaced since 2011. Returnees were tasked with rebuilding their area without electricity and water.
The Syria Reconstruction Committee has raised an estimated $307 million, but according to Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), the Committee allocated most of the funds to government ministries and public institutions. There is little evidence of allocation of funds to residential areas or public spaces.
The exhibition, according to the artists, represents not only Hope and Faith. It represents curiosity and concern about the "what, how, who, when" of the post-war revival and reconstruction of urban areas.
3 of the works represent monuments of historical heritage, which are being restored. But the other three, which are from popular neighborhoods, have no attention at all.
"All the efforts to return to live in these neighborhoods are efforts of the people without any support yet" says Laura.
On this topic, Laura explains:
"We had a lot of questions arising...... Why is architectural and historical heritage still favored over people's daily lives? To tell the truth, I don't think I want to know the answer, because it will make me more angry and sad.
But what I am sure of, is to keep talking about Syria with a lot of love and faith, so that this thread of hope is not cut before Syria reaches the light."
And from us, we will continue to talk about Syria with much love. We will never stop talking, asking and remembering with much hope and much faith.