Dancing in Damascus
Creativity, Resilience, and the Syrian Revolution
New Books in ArtNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in DanceNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Middle Eastern StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in World AffairsNew Books Network January 2, 2018 Nadirah Mansour
The Syrian Revolution, which began in March 2011, has since resulted in what can be described as a civil war, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, and the forced migrations of millions of Syrians. This story has been told countless times in news media. However, less known is the story of the Syrian artists who have portrayed the revolution with all of its nuances. miriam cooke’s Dancing in Damascus: Creativity, Resilience and the Syrian Revolution (Routledge, 2017) tells that story, beginning before the revolution and continuing until the present. Through cooke’s work, we see how oppression can beget creativity and how art in the Syrian context can create public memory. cooke brings together different mediums to show how different conversations cut through the Syrian artistic community and how Syrians relate to one another. Dancing in Damascus is comprehensive, provocative, and hopeful.
Nadirah Mansour is a graduate student at Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies working on the global intellectual history of the Arabic-language press. She tweets @NAMansour26 and produces another Middle-East and North Africa-related podcast: Reintroducing.