Israel Exhibits Syrian Resistance Posters

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"Syrian People Know their Way" -- this is the title given to an exhibition held at the Research Gallery of Holon Institute of Technology (HIT), displaying posters painted by activists during the Syrian uprising.

The posters, also published digitally on the internet, won a prize at the Ars Electronica Festival held recently in Austria.

An Israeli convoy from HIT present at the festival in Austria, asked the Syrian activists if the posters could also be exhibited in Israel.

[Dr. Yael Eilat Van-Essen, New-Media Researcher & Curator]:
"They were tremendously surprised by my request, and asked for some time to consult with the rest of the group. They promised to give me an answer within a day, but unfortunately never gave me a reply."

Since legally speaking there is no law against presenting posters already published on the web, the curator decided to go ahead with the exhibition, to expose to Israelis the tragedy taking place in Syria.

[Dr. Yael Eilat Van-Essen, New-Media Researcher & Curator]:
"Our understanding is very limited and is always mediated by external factors, so we very rarely have a chance to understand what really is going on."

The posters express sometimes contradictory visions of resistance.

[Dr. Yael Eilat Van-Essen, New-Media Researcher & Curator]:
"On one hand, there are those who preach for a non-violent civilian resistance, but on the other hand there are those who call for fighting to the death."

The posters also place strong emphasis on the woman warrior.

[Dr. Yael Eilat Van-Essen, New-Media Researcher & Curator]:
"There is a great deal of usage of Islamic elements in the posters, for instance in the typeface of letters, while on the other hand, in many posters the flag of revolution is seen carried by women without veils. This is quite unacceptable in traditional Islamic culture."

In addition, the vision of freedom presented is not only about democracy, but also national unity.

[Dr. Yael Eilat Van-Essen, New-Media Researcher & Curator]:
"The fighting isn't just about democracy. There is a clear attempt to create a new national definition. This is an attempt to bridge the gaps between various sectors and rivals within the Syrian people."

The Israeli convoy felt that the Syrians had a hard time connecting with Israelis, from a political standpoint.

[Dr. Yael Eilat Van-Essen, New-Media Researcher & Curator]:
"I explained to them why I believe this is so important for a group of activists, who talk about peace and ending the conflict with peaceful measures, as they were in the beginning. To me it seemed very right that they should establish a dialog with the Israeli people via these posters."

Although the Syrian activists were reluctant to connect with Israelis, perhaps this
exhibition contributes to the way Israelis feel about the struggle for freedom in Syria.

NTD News, Holon, Israel

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