«Life on one leg», in Lecce the exhibition of the Syrian cartoonist- Corriere.it

From Wednesday 9 June to Sunday 25 July (free admission – from Monday to Friday from 8 to 20, Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 20 and during the appointments of the ExtraConvitto review) in the rooms on the first floor of the Convitto Palmieri – Bernardini Library of Lecce will be the exhibition «Life on one leg. 10 years of war in Syria ”by Amany al-Ali.

In the thirty-one digital illustrations, the thirty-seven-year-old Syrian artist and cartoonist recounts ten years of life in Idlib in the north of the country, in a region particularly affected by the raids of the Bashar al-Assad regime and in the crosshairs of extremist militias. «Each drawing speaks of a different aspect of life that has changed. Each drawing tells a detail that I want to communicate to the public. Homes have turned into refugee camps, education has been lost, death is everywhere, love and music have been hit and silenced, ”says Amany.

The tour also includes a special section dedicated to the figure of the woman, made up of four illustrations, defined by the artist herself as «of expressionist inspiration». The “soundscape” was entrusted to Marc Codsi, composer, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and producer, one of the main proponents of the renewal of the Lebanese and Middle Eastern contemporary music scene. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog in three languages ​​(Italian, English and Arabic) embellished with captions by Amany al-Ali and speeches by Marc Codsi, the Corriere della Sera journalist Marta Serafini and the Italian spokesperson for Amnesty International Riccardo Noury.

The exhibition is conceived, created and promoted by the Diffondiamo Idee di Valore association and the Conversations on the future festival with the patronage of the Italian section of Amnesty International, with the support of the Puglia Region in the 2020 Extraordinary Program on Culture and Entertainment and, through the Teatro Pubblico Pugliese, in the programming We guard the culture in Puglia and in collaboration with the Polo Biblio-Museale of the Puglia Region and the Bernardini Library of Lecce.

«Life on one leg. 10 years of war in Syria “will be presented and inaugurated on Tuesday 8 June at 18:50 (free admission with compulsory booking WApp 0832373576) in the Cloister of the Convitto Palmieri (and live on Facebook and Youtube @conversazionisulfuturo) with a special episode of the Sette format Meno Dieci conducted by Gabriella Morelli and Pierpaolo Lala, as part of ExtraConvitto, an exhibition promoted by the Biblio-Museale Polo of the Puglia Region by Mauro Marino and the staff of the Bernardini Library, with the patronage of the Province and the Municipality of Lecce. In connection will be Amany al-Ali, Marta Serafini and Riccardo Noury.

“I took the title of the exhibition from the story of a child who lost his leg to a Russian missile that fell on his home. That child continues his life on one leg, in a place other than his homeland, ”explains Amany al-Ali. “Each drawing sheds light on a different problem facing Syrians both in the liberated areas and in the areas controlled by the regime. In the last ten years Syria has changed a lot and President Bashar al-Assad has shown his true face, one that the people did not really know. He was able to destroy our country in a systematic way, with aerial bombardments and banned weapons, also through his agents and the allies he asked for help. In the early years, the strongest ally was Iran, but today the balance of power has changed dramatically. Six years after Russia’s intervention, Bashar has taken on a secondary role, carrying out only killing and destruction, but also training ISIS agents and other armed extremist groups to perpetrate abuses against the population under their control. The change in the conditions of the people in the liberated areas and in those controlled by the regime has led to an increase in poverty and many areas have turned into camps for displaced persons, ”he continues.

«Honoring a story, bearing witness to it, giving it a stronger voice and a more intense light. These are the reasons that led us to collaborate with Amany and to produce her first exhibition in Italy », underlines Gabriella Morelli, president of the association We spread ideas of value. «In Idlib, in northern Syria, in a land devastated by war, Amany lives forced by restrictions and censorship under the Assad regime and the violent extremist groups that control her region. Words are not enough to tell it, you need shapes and colors. His cartoons are explicit, painful, courageous. They speak a universal language, they don’t allow turns of words. Amany has seen the rubble of Idlib smoke and, through a skilful use of satire, gives a voice to women and defends the right of her land to a peaceful existence ”. “Most of the voices heard in this piece are those of the two-way radios that Syrians use in their homes to be updated on the movements of military planes and helicopters and on any bombing coming from the Syrian regime of Assad”, he specifies Marc Codsi. “I was deeply moved by these voices because I imagine hearing them could mean life or death for people in this unstable and uncertain context. It is the only defense weapon against the brutality of indiscriminate bombing which are used to attack the rebels and at the same time to punish the population. The music that is the background to the voices, on the other hand, is calm and serene as if to prepare a world to come; it is taken from my album “A New World” (Annihaya Records 2019) where the idea was to create a sort of blank sheet from which a new world could emerge ».

Born in Saudi Arabia in 1984, Amany al-Ali is an artist and designer living in Idlib in northwestern Syria, located near the border with Turkey. In 2016 he began drawing cartoons for a local newspaper, then collaborating with various websites, such as The New Arab e Al-Nims. Her cartoons tell social and political themes, the cruelty of war and violence against women, not sparing shrewd and direct criticism of the abuses of extremist groups as well as the violence perpetrated by the regime and by foreign forces present in Syria. Due to his activity he has received and continues to receive threats, including death, from various armed extremist factions and the regime. This led her to limit her activities and her movements within the city. He strongly believes that drawing is his only means of resisting bombing and that colors are his way of smiling in the face of death. His drawings were exhibited in Amsterdam in the Netherlands in 2018, Manchester in England and Saint-Briac sur Mer in France in 2019. Unfortunately, Amany was never able to participate in any of these exhibitions abroad. In 2020 he set up his first solo show in Idlib, in the spaces of the “Shafak” association, despite the city being under the control of armed extremist groups. Currently, together with two Syrian directors, she is working on the filming of a documentary film that tells her story with the drawing and the diary of her daily life in Idlib.

“Life on one leg” is his first exhibition in Italy, conceived and created specifically for the Diffondiamo Idee di Valore Association and the Conversazioni sul Futuro festival. The association “Spreading ideas of value” deals with cultural projects and social communication. Open to the comparison of knowledge, to the convergence of disciplines and to the sharing of spaces, the association’s many activities are aimed at narrating current events in its innumerable facets. The themes at the center of the public debate, the battles on human, civil and social rights, the attention to stories and people, characterize the inclusive vocation and the most constitutive mission of the association: to make every single action, even in its highest form. and consolidated, accessible to as many people as possible. The two main projects, organized in Puglia, are the «Conversazioni sul Futuro» Festival, born in 2013, and the journalism and political communication review «I haven’t interrupted it», launched in 2015.

June 5, 2021 (change June 5, 2021 | 10:04 am)



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