Syria Speaks – Tour Dates

PEN award-winning title Syria Speaks will be published by Saqi Books in June. The book, edited by Malu HalasaZaher Omareen and Nawara Mahfoud, demonstrates how Syria’s artists are at the forefront of the country’s resistance. Rappers and chanters leading mass demonstrations, photographers, artists – working with diverse media from chalk and charcoal to digital media and installations – filmmakers, cartoonists and writers are finding new voices to challenge the culture of violence in Syria. Syria Speaks features work from Golan HajiKhaled KhalifaSamar Yazbek and others, and is translated by Ghias AljundiEmily DanbyAnne-Marie MacManusAlice Guthrie and Leen Zyiad.

About the book

In Syria, culture has become a critical line of defence against tyranny. Syria Speaks is a celebration of a people determined to reclaim their dignity, freedom and self-expression. It showcases the work of over fifty artists and writers who are challenging the culture of violence in Syria. Their literature, poems and songs, cartoons, political posters and photographs document and interpret the momentous changes that have drastically shifted the frame of reality in Syria. Moving and inspiring, Syria Speaks is testament to the courage, creativity and imagination of the Syrian people.

‘Syria Speaks is a remarkable achievement and a remarkable book – a wise, courageous, imaginative and beautiful response to all that is ugly in human behaviour.’  A.L. Kennedy

Editors, authors and translators will tour the UK in June to promote the book. The tour, organised by Reel Festivals, features award-winning Damascus-based novelist Khaled Khalifa, cinematographer and video artist Khalil Younes, writer and filmaker Zaher Omareen, and authors Malu Halasa and Robin Yassin-Kassab:
  • Discussion on free expression in Syria at the Hay Festival on 26 May at 1pm
  • An evening of readings, music and film at Rich Mix, London, on 11 June at 7pm
  • Readings and discussion as part of the Festival of Ideas, Foyles Bookshop, Bristol, on 12 June at 6pm
  • Public lecture at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford on 13 June at 6.30pm
  • An evening of readings, screenings and discussion at The Bluecoat, as part of the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, Liverpool on 14 June at 5pm
  • Readings and presentation at the FUSE Gallery, Bradford on 15 June at 4pm
  • Public event at Durham University, School of Government and International Affairs on 16 June

The visiting authors will also take part in workshops with English PEN at schools, refugee community centres and a prison.

Presented in partnership with Reel Festivals, Saqi Books, LIFT Festival, Prince Claus Fund, CKU and the Arab British Centre. This project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

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