Syria 2001

Tracing a panoramic trajectory of the metaphorical cracks within the borders of a fragile Syria, Mehdi Chafik observes not la nature à coup d’œil here but an expanding constellation of happenings, emotions, presences and potentialities.

This is the city of Damascus over a short period that the photographer cites as being pre-, mid- and post-9/11.  If a shift in mood can be registered, it is one of shock at the events happening in New York, for there is an absence of the rejoicing that was alleged to have been so endemic on the streets here.  For the rest - tensions, conflicts, military presence, is the story of a terrible beauty being born in Syria, and of Syria.

Beauty has always been part of Syria’s history - in the warmth and hospitality of the people, and in its literary and artistic heritage.  It is with this in mind that Chafik narrates in a poetic form of his own.