FREE / No Reservation Required

September 6–28

Wed–Sat: 11am–5pm (Gallery hours)

Twelve Gates Arts
106 N 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (Old City)

Follow the story of three Syrian refugees who fled the war in Syria to seek refuge in Munich, Germany. Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising in 2011, Syrian refugees have been fleeing the brutality of the Syrian regime and searching for new destinations, Munich being one. Many asylum seekers arrive by land, crossing unofficial borders, through successive European countries.

El Khoury and her partners in Dictaphone Group collaborated with a group of Syrian refugees who had recently arrived in Munich. They provided each person with a discreet camera for a day, the only instructions being to film their daily lives in Munich and their favorite spots in the city. Interviews with the refugees work as a soundscape over the footage they have created. Audiences engage with the films from metal bunk beds, outfitted with mattresses and pillows.

Video Installation by Dictaphone Group (2013) Concept and Video Editing Tania El Khoury Devised with Petra Serhal Videos filmed by anonymous asylum seekers Commissioned by Spielart Festival

Excerpt from Stories of Refuge: Oral Histories of Syrian Asylum Seekers in Germany by Tania El Khoury, Jadaliyya: “Although I had suggested a few ‘beauty shots’ to the participants, none of them showed interest in such suggestions. They all ended up producing videos that look like the thousands of YouTube videos that came out of Syria since the start of the uprising—often filmed by ordinary people using phone cameras.” Read the full article

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Photo by Tania El Khoury.

Stories of Refuge is presented with the support of Festival Star Producers Martha Carey and Mark Tomlinson.