VOLKSBÜHNE
Berlin

Photo: Karam Alhamad

Real Talk: Accommodating the Devil.
The Syrian Civil Society’s Struggle for Survival
09.04.

Discourse
English

19:00 Welcome: Marion Detjen
Introduction: Kristin Helberg

19:15 Panel Discussion with Christin Lüttich (Moderation), Karam Alhamad, Kristin Helberg, Zeidoun Alzoubi and Ameenah Sawwan
followed by responses and discussion with the audience

The revolution in Syria did not only try to get rid of Assad's regime. It also created a diverse landscape of civil society structures that allowed the population to sustain itself: schools, health centers, infrastructure projects, journalistic initiatives, and more. These grassroot structures survived the war and the sieges. But now they are facing annihilation: ever since the USA and other Western powers signaled their withdrawing from Syria, the grassroot organizations and NGOs have been threatened to remain without any means, and the volunteers find themselves squeezed between the terror of the regime and the terror of the Islamist groups.

How should we, how should free societies in the West act in this situation? A lively civil society here cannot be impervious to a dying civil society there. What is the current situation in the different regions of Syria? Can we even imagine an arrangement with Assad? Can Russia be moved to force Assad to secure at least a minimum of protection for the people in those areas? The evening will be framed by photos and posters from the revolution.


Real Talk is a new series at Grüner Salon that renders visible the political discourse of the young, resistance-oriented, democratic and activist Middle-Eastern diaspora in Berlin and provides space for its debates. This series aims to make evident the transnational realities and struggles between ‘here’ and ‘there’; ‘then’ and ‘now’, differences which Nationalism seeks to deny and erase, and which reveal themselves in the Diasporas. The talks serve as a platform to explore the diaspora’s own thoughts and reactions to these realities. The series in the Grüner Salon aims to create a space where Syrian, Afghan, Yemen, Iraqi and other experts in various discursive and artistic discipline can discuss and perform their work.

The series is a cooperation between Bard College Berlin, the Volksbühne Berlin and the German Council on Foreign Relations. It offers a mix of lectures, short-films, panel discussions and performances discussing themes such as the struggle for survival of the civil society in the Middle East; the re-claiming of political agency; disappeared and missing prisoners; the fate of women in the revolution; the political dimension of the (post-)traumatic; the experience of statelessness; and other topics related to the diaspora.

09.04.19, 19:00
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