September 2018

In autumn 2016 we wanted to do the Aleppo International Photo Festival during the war, like the years before, with the support of more than 7 foundations and hundreds of artists which took part between 2012 and 2015.

What stopped us this time was not the war itself. Because of the dramatic change, we decided to wait.

During October to December, the war developed an unnormal way. But on December 22nd the war ended and the city was united again.

Today we have the courage to change our title from „Aleppo 13th International Photo Festival” at war zone to „13th International Photo Festival at Aleppo Peace Zone“

Because the national and international situation changed, this year’s subject is about cities around the world which got destroyed during the last century and then rebuild and revived again, like Berlin, Rotterdam, Leningrad or Sarajevo… the list is too long.

The Aleppo citizen sure doesn’t wait for the festival or anybody else to represent their problem, they already started to rebuild the city immediately after the war stopped.

Last few months, 8 from 10 neighbours in my building already came back to life in their apartment.

As a citizen, we would like to see that normal life comes back to Aleppo, in the way it happened to all the other cities who had a war before.

Cultural activity was really important to normalize the life and give hope during the war, that’s why we kept our organization open.

Aleppo is just an other example that the war isn’t the winner and as I always say, Art has to be the best way to build trust between countries.

All the photographer which originally come from war or devastation destroyed cities during the last century can take part at the Festival with stories about how the life goes after the destruction and how the people rebuild everything again.

Issa Touma