Artists: Ammar Albeik, Khaled Akil, Khalil Younes, Abdullah Hakawati, Alma Salem
Concept & Curation: Alma Salem
KASHASH in Arabic means a Colombophile, a pigeon-keeper or pigeon-fancier in English. Pigeon breeding is the art and science of breeding domestic pigeons. People have practised pigeon-keeping for about 10,000 years in almost every part of the world, especially in Damascus. Syrians have contributed to substantially altering the morphology and behaviour of the domesticated descendants of the rock dove to suit their needs for food, aesthetic satisfaction and entertainment.
Since 2011, the start of the Syrian uprising, the disappearance of several pigeon-fanciers (kashash) across the land is evidence of how Syrian skies have become a maelstrom of fire. The rooftops of the cities, previously occupied by many kashash, now serve as vantage points for all forms of authoritative representation, if they have not been turned into ground zero rubble. Together with Syrian artists and researchers, curator Alma Salem explores the transcendent relationship of Syrians with their cities and sheds light on the traditional Syrian practice of pigeon breeding, the stories behind it, and its place in the collective Syrian memory. KASHASH, its artworks, its artists, its researchers, and its pigeons reclaim the rooftops as personal and intimate transcendental popular spaces.
KASHASH will present artistic research, an installation, a photography exhibition, short documentaries and video art. A conceptual space where artists and audiences can meet, free from the limitations of geographical borders, time boundaries and censorship. It stimulates innovative digital and virtual art forms and attempts to make visible the invisible.
KASHASH calls for peaceful Syrian skies, free from hostile warplanes. A no-fly zone, a safe zone and a green zone to stop the bloodshed. Through arts and dialogue, KASHASH intends to break the silence and reclaim Beauty, Freedom, Dignity and Justice for all Syrians.