In the annual MOUSSEM CITIES festival, Moussem Nomadic Arts Centre and its partners focus on a metropolis from the MENA region. Following a focus on Tunis, Beirut and Casablanca, the 2019 festival will be taking Damascus as its starting point.

It goes without saying that this requires a different approach and contextualisation. Damascus and Syria, a city and a country that have been at war for almost eight years, with a totally dislocated society and millions of people displaced. Damascus, a city with a social fabric that has been brutally torn apart and a shattered artistic scene. A city from which numerous artists have fled or have been forced to flee. A city with a hugely rich and culturally diverse history whose artistic dynamism until recently played a leading role in the region.

Moussem Cities will not attempt to normalise Damascus, but will look at the geographical place with its complex current events from a different angle. In this edition of the multidisciplinary festival, we will be looking even more explicitly from the artist’s perspective. With performances, concerts, exhibitions, lectures and discussions, we will be presenting work from a scattered artistic scene.