Diaspora - Sara Shamma

27 Oct 2014 – 10 Jan 2015

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"DIASPORA", As with many other populations in history, it seems that it is the turn of the Syrians to flee their homeland and scatter around the world.


This is a real diaspora because it forms a mass dispersion of an involuntary nature; of a group of people maintaining a myth about their peaceful homeland. They regard the cities they left as their true home, to which they will eventually return; they are committed to the restoration or rebuilding of that homeland and they still do not really believe what has happened.

I moved out of Damascus in the end of 2012 when the situation deteriorated significantly. I went with my two young children to Lebanon, to the hometown of my mother.  With me I shipped all my paintings, canvases, colors and brushes.  My husband remained in Damascus because of his business, risking the roads to come to see us every weekend.  My country is destroyed and Lebanon is not very stable. The future is very blurry and worrying. I think that this is the status of most of the Syrians living this diaspora, one of the significant side-effects of what is happening in Syria.

The body of work for this exhibition consists of 12 paintings; half of them created in Damascus in the last few months before I left, the other half in Lebanon just after I arrived. 

The paintings are about people, people in “diaspora”. I wouldn’t call them Syrians, they could be any men, women and children who were obliged to leave their homeland to try and establish a life somewhere else, With them they carry the fragments of their lives, the memories of peace whilst they chase one common dream, the dream of a new peace.

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Sara Shamma


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