(Remembering, Imagining, Connecting, Resisting)
The use of onion skins and tea as writing materials suggest the importance of imagination and creativity not only as a means of survival and resistance, but also to document and convey information about silenced and unrecorded conditions of detention such as they are perceived and understood by others. It also highlights the importance of community and solidarity in these efforts.
What role do media play in sharing information about political prisons, and how do they influence global perceptions and responses to this issue? How do political prisoners themselves resist and challenge the power dynamics that keep them imprisoned, and what can their experiences teach us about the resilience of the human spirit in the face of oppression? How can the collective experience of political imprisonment in Syria help inform contemporary movements for social and political change, and emphasise the importance of social healing?
Counter-Conduct is inspired by stories of survivors of political detention in Syria. By using the symbolism of onion ink – with all the emotional weight of the stories it carries, yet all the meanings of courage and determination to resist – the performance opens up a space to create a moment of solidarity and collective action, a space to highlight, remember, and honour the extent of resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity, and a tribute to those who have suffered and continue to suffer at the hands of unjust regimes.
Photo: Razan Sabbagh