“What shall we do when we stand
in front of a flood of images of massacres?
In front of a flood of bodies and debris?
In front of a flood that will destroy the names of villages and
Cities and the people flooded?
We drowned in our blood,
like ships sunk in the sea. «
During the three-week workshop “out of the box”, the photo and video artist Fahd Aldaya was given the opportunity to use the means of photography and film to present and artistically process his experiences during his flight from Syria to Germany. The result is an impressive compilation of private photographs and texts by Fahd Aldaya, which describe the war and destruction in Syria as well as the experiences of life and flight, giving the reader a very private access to war and migration experiences.
Fahd Aldaya, born 1979 in Harasta near Damascus, came into contact with the media of film and photography for the first time in 2009. In the beginning he filmed his personal surroundings and tried to capture his environment and events in his home town. As the situation in Syria became increasingly difficult, he learned to appreciate the medium of photography. Due to the political situation in his home country and the demonstrations against the government, his activities and pictures became more political, recorded the events on the streets and demonstrations and could be spread by means of social media and YouTube. During the war in Syria, he worked as a reporter for five months, filming and photographing people, destruction and war. “It was very dangerous to take pictures of the government killing people.” Out of the impulse to “show the whole truth” and to let people know what was really happening in their city, instead of the fragmentary information provided by the state media, he intensified his work. “I could not believe all the videos. But when I worked as a photographer, I could believe more. There were many surprises, but bad surprises. I’ve never seen a person die before, but this happened to me while I was working as a photographer.” Even then, Fahd Aldaya’s ambition was to educate about what was happening in Syria and make it visible to people. “The problem in our war in Syria was that there were no interpreters, everything was in Arabic, so people in other countries were not so interested. It needs another language so that all the people in the world know what’s happening.” With the help of the medium of photography, he created the possibility of recording his history and experiences of the war and making it available to all people regardless of language or origin.
Layout: Ahmad Mahmoud, Joanna Coleman, Rafael Brix
Text: Fahd Aldaya
Photography: Fahd Aldaya
Translation: Ahmad Mahmoud
There was also an exhibition about the project in December 2017 in the “Tipi” in Leipzig-Plagwitz. In the video you can learn more about the project from Fahd Aldaya himself (in Arabic and German)