#KASHASH: Reclaiming the Syrian Rooftops

Picture of By Linh Dinh

By Linh Dinh

[mks_dropcap style=”letter” size=”48″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]F[/mks_dropcap]ocused on the disappearance of pigeon breeders (Kashash in Arabic) across Syria, #KASHASH is one of the installations in the Dancing On The Edge festival. Ever since the start of the Syrian uprising, pigeons breeders on rooftops of Syrian towns have been replaced with sniper nests or turned into rubble.

Curated by Alma Salem, 22 artists, writers and thinkers from 10 countries explore the traditional Syrian practice of pigeon training. This exhibition contains video installations, photo series, essays, VR experience and a graffiti guerilla campaign. #KASHASH is the first project by Syria Sixth Space. It’s an independent, nonphysical, contemporary curatorial platform founded by Salem. The installation is composed of 7 pieces, their called:

“They primarily feed on seeds, fruits, and plants” film projection by artist Khalil Younes,

“The 7th” digital prints of 7 photos of skies taken in 7 different political territories in Syria by artist Khaled Barakeh,

“Bird-eye view, photogenic Syria” virtual reality experience of Russian and American drone footage over Syria by artist Alma Salem,

“Binnish pigeons” short documentary filmed on a rooftop in Nort-Western Syria, during a Russian air raid over the city of Saraquib by artist Abdullah Alhakwati,

“Inhuman”,  short documentary and interview of a KASHASH in Damascus by artist Anita Moucadem.

All the artists of this installation utilized, through their medium, the visuals and audio, the concept KASHASH to communicate their message about the ongoing conflict in Syria and its effect on the Syrian people and culture. Pigeons have long been the symbol of freedom, ever since the start of the Syrian uprising in 2011. The disappearance of the KASASH and their pigeons symbolizes the loss in freedom of the Syrian people in rubbled cities. Therefore, the campaign also calls for reclaiming Syria’s rooftops as intimate popular spaces for safety, meditation, spirituality and personal escape.

Photos: Linh Dinh

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