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Wounds, Jaber Al Azmeh

Installation view at Green Art Gallery, Dubai, 2012

Syrian artist Jaber Al Azmeh began his series of red and black photographs during the early stages of the revolutionary movement in his country. He sought out individuals from his own social circle who were actively involved with the protests on the streets and began capturing their stories in a project titled "Wounds." That is, until clashes between activists and authorities escalated and forced Al Azmeh to leave his country along with others who had criticized the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Forced to relocate, Al Azmeh continued his work in Doha, Qatar, re-enacting the stories of his fellow activists himself. He used his own body to mimic the movements and poses described to him in his subjects' stories, relying not on the individual features of a person but on the universal sentiments of their struggles. From a writhing body to the release of a single bird, the simple actions evoke notions of freedom characteristic not only of the revolutionary period in Syria, but of liberation movements everywhere.

In anticipation of the exhibition of his project at Green Art Gallery in Dubai, we asked Al Azmeh about his experience creating art in Syria and how he feels about the escalation of violence in his country. <...>

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