Abounadarra is politically independent. According to Cherif Kiwan, the group's spokesperson and single public face, the group intends their films to be "like a bullet" to the regime. Kiwan said he believed that "nobody [in the international community] wants Assad to go." He attributed this to misinformation about Syria in the media: "Our society was always invisible. People were not represented accurately and with dignity."
To disseminate a different narrative, Abounaddara avoids using the graphic and grainy images of blood and gore prevalent on the internet. Instead, they search for faces and frames that humanize the experiences of Syrians to the outside world — and one another. "Artists have to weld something out of barbarism to give some perspective, some hope, some understanding," Kiwan said.
Abounaddara's work has been showcased in several recent film festivals, even winning the 2014 Sundance Short Film Grand Jury Prize for one short, "Of God and Dogs." Their work is now being showcased as part of "Here and Elsewhere," an exhibit on contemporary art from and about the Arab world that opened July 15 at the New Museum in New York City.
Former BuzzFeed World Reporter, Current BuzzFeed News Contributor
Contact Miriam Berger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.