Video, a short documentary
“The official “Tishreen” newspaper had published a report, on July 3, in which it explained that house rents have increased by more than 75% in the capital, Damascus, and recorded record numbers ranging between 200,000 and 300,000 Syrian pounds.
The newspaper said that the majority of homeowners ask the tenant to pay a full year’s rent, and a few ask for six months.” 1 (Enad Baladi newspaper, 2020)https://www.enabbaladi.net/archives/400255
This case is about an artist who lives in Damascus. She goes to her studio, far enough from her house and the city, she finds out that someone broke in. A small unprotected room on the roof of a building in one of Damascus’ suburbs. Paintings were on the ground, the thieves stole some little things and a bag of friends, tools that have been accompanying the artist since she started painting.
Taya once again returns to the studio to document her long trip there for us but you can only see the roof from the whole video, you can see the gray city from there.
I sink into her short documented memories and mess with the tools on my cellphone to edit this low-quality video, like the rest of them. I sink into her videos and remember all of the studios she rented and her stories about them, then I remember the only studio I rented in 2019, for a year and a half, being there endlessly.
We speak and treat this matter – having a studio- as if it were a house.
To have a studio means having two jobs, one to provide your art, and one to create your art. Yet imagine doing that in Syria where unemployment rates in the country among the entire adult population reached 50%, while it reached 78% among the youth. That is without getting into the details of the poverty and exploitation of the Syrian art market which barely exists except for a few. Also without mentioning the prices of materials and the generally very low income.
Above in the quote and the text lies the reason why renting a studio is a hard job for an artist in Syria, and why Taya could not get a secured place. Below, in the video lie memories of a young artist who needs a place to create, otherwise, she has no place in this world.