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Syrian Cinema: Out of Time?

Dickinson, Kay. 2011. Syrian Cinema: Out of Time? Screening the Past, 31, tba-tba. ISSN 1328-9756 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Writing in June 2011, while the Syrian army besieges whole towns and racks up a death and injury toll of thousands, it might seem untimely – distasteful even – to dwell on some of the Ba’th regime’s laudable contributions to the field of film production. However, as a line of anonymous medieval graffiti warns from its home in Edessa church (once in Syria, now in Turkey, along with a multitude of new refugees): “Time has a habit of exiling chosen persons.” Such remnants of vandalism represent history at its most illegitimate, some would say anti-social, but, despite this one’s longevity, it still feels timely. How and why are certain documents from the past preserved, as both objects and as pertinent contributors to contemporary chronologies? This centuries-old statement highlights just how frequently time-in-the-abstract unfairly shoulders the blame for human history-making’s doggedly political actions, its banishment of people, ideas and ways of living that contradict an ascendant mode of governance. In the case of contemporary Syria, the uprisings against the Arab socialist autocracy may or may not result in the country absorbing greater democracy and neo-liberalism. Whatever their outcome, conflicting ideologies are at war here and such upheavals are always driven by the aim of casting something off, discarding it as untimely. What should stay, and what, or whom, should be exiled?

Item Type:

Article

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies

Dates:

DateEvent
2011["eprint_fieldopt_dates_date_type_inproduction" not defined]

Item ID:

5827

Date Deposited:

14 Oct 2011 13:17

Last Modified:

16 Jul 2018 07:15

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/5827

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