Le damas des autres/Damascus of others

Poline Harbali



At the age of 3, my syrian family living in France went back to Damascus forever. As we couldn't go there, I never had anymore contact with my family until my cousins there contacted me thanks to social media, as Facebook, 8 years ago. From the family pictures my father collected in a little box, I started working on them, inventing many stories and dreams about my family and myself, printing them on fabrics, burning them, drawing or embroidering on them etc. This new virtual contact with them feed me with many new pictures, stories, and realities until the war began, 3 years after, building again a huge distance between us. This new wall made me wondering on how geopilitics fragment intimacies, and how my passport makes me an official stranger in the country I belong to and where my family lives. From this point, I wondered which territory can be, not mine, or their, but ours, as we can't fit each other, into each others territories. Can this war makes us official enemies ? Then, I realized my current territory, the only one I can investigate for now is my computer. So I decided to transform the object, the vector creating the link into the link himself, and to work on the pictures directly on the laptop, trying a reconcilement of the irreconcilables, and gathering the unmatchable. How the big contemporary world mutation can erase without any doubt personal stories ? How to fit the unmatchable ? Is the far away much more closer than the closest ?

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