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UprisingLooinkIn-banner3.png During the last three years, the Syrian uprising has become one of the most mediated international events. Syrians have been capable of producing and distributing a vast amount of almost all forms of expression yet their cultural content has often been overlooked by international media.

Alternatively, what has been distributed through the internet has been spun by others to serve agendas and points of view which have little in common with what Syrians really think and experience. Syrians were relegated to subaltern actors, depriving them of the capacity to frame the very events in which they are the main protagonists.

We believe that people’s agency must pass first of all through the process of an autonomous and independent appropriation of the meaning of their struggle and its consequences. Thus 'Looking inside the uprising' was born; a collaboration between openDemocracy and SyriaUntold that aims to reinforce and make visible how Syrians think about, and culturally elaborate, their Intifada. The initiative intends to offer wider access to the debate and the ideas animating the Syrian uprising at its core, at the same time giving back to Syrians the power to shape their cultural field as a prerequisite to a transformation of political reality.

The initiative will bring together a multiplicity of voices with the aim of reflecting on multiple cultural, social and political issues related to the Syrian movement after three years from its inception: the re-building of a collective memory; the creativity at the base of daily practices of resistance; the state and role of the media; the issue of sectarianism and its consequences, just to name a few main themes and discussions this initiative aims to promote.

Tabqa Dam: the key to capturing Raqqa

An interview with Sinan Deniz, a Kobane-based ANF journalist embedded with the SDF forces in their battle to take the Tabqa dam and liberate Raqqa from Islamic State control.

عقدة الإسلام السياسي السوري وعقدة مستقبله

عقدة الإسلام السياسي السوري تستمد خيوط تعقيدها من خيوط عقد الأزمة السورية ذاتها، من جهة، ومن عقدة خيوط البنية الفكرية الأصولية ذاتها، من جهة أخرى، سواء أخذت هذه البنية شكلاً سنياً أم شيعياً

Regime wages war of documents on Syrians

One of the oldest manifestations of the Syrian government’s corruption has always been the blockage and manipulation of official documents.

الفاعلية النفسية والأمل: مساعدة المجتمعات على معالجة نفسها

يتناول هذا المقال نموذجًا يرتكز على مجالس مستقلة التنظيم تابعة للمعارضة كشريكٍ رئيسي محتمل في تعزيز القدرة على معالجة الصحة العقلية في المجتمعات المتأثرة بالصراع. English

Agency and hope: helping communities healing themselves

When planning mental health services, treating PTSD is what usually comes to mind. What role do local communities play in building resiliency in Syria? عربي

Syria: grassroots democracy, future prospects (Part II)

Part two of this interview with Joseph Daher explores some of the experiments in grassroots democracy and the possible futures in Syria.

Revolution and counter-revolution in Syria (Part I)

This first part of an interview with Joseph Daher offers an in-depth look at the forces involved in the Syrian revolution, and those fighting against it.

Aleppo's forgotten revolutionaries

Countless icons of the Syrian revolution who struggled for freedom between 2012-2014 have been ignored and erased from history by the western media.

Fighting on all fronts: women’s resistance in Syria

Women in Syria face numerous challenges yet continue to struggle against fascism, imperialism and patriarchy

Syria’s “voice of conscience” has a message for the west

Syrian dissident Yassin Al-Haj Saleh talks about the left and the regime, revolution and hope, Islam and secularism.

The genealogy of the Effendy

Undeterred by the regime's actions that have steadily pushed the Egyptian economy to the brink, the middle class seem intent on supporting the military.

Infographic: understanding sectarianism

A very accessible introduction to how we should grasp and portray sect and sectarianism in Syria and the Middle East.

The intimacy of tyranny: Syria's de facto state legitimacy

The state has remained resilient in conflict-ridden Syria. A look into the intricacies of the abusive citizen-state relationship, and the state's Hobbesian passion for self-preservation.

Assad's secular sectarianism

A historic overview of the manipulation of sect and religion by a Syrian elite only concerned with survival. 

Social networks in Syria: between mediation and mobilisation

We still misunderstand the roles Facebook and Twitter play in how the uprisings across the Arab world began and continue to develop.

A Syrian fearing exile and return

Many Syrian activists have left Syria voluntarily, either being refused permission to return or being threatened with imprisonment or death. They face an unknown destiny in exile.

Is the Syrian regime sectarian? Sectarianism, part two

In the second part of our conversation on the state and sect in Syria with prominent Marxist thinkers from the region, we explore how sectarianism and class intersect in the dark realms of the Syrian elite. See part one.

Kafranbel: a paradigm of creative storytelling (Part 2/2)

The protesters of Kafranbel combine local struggles with global interests in their banners, they present the specificity of the Syrian context through the universality of the fight for freedom and dignity.

What is sectarianism in the Middle East?

The term is heard whenever the Middle East or Syria are discussed, yet a talking head would be pressed to define what they mean by sectarianism. Mohammad Dibo speaks to two prominent Arab thinkers willing to assist our understanding by going back to the basics.

Kafranbel: a paradigm of creative storytelling (Part 1/2)

As media coverage of Syria is increasingly monopolized by geopolitical and military approaches, a small town in northwestern Syria continues to provide a collective account of the country that is both accessible and nuanced.

Razan and I

Razan Ghazzawi delves into her relationship with her mentor, namesake, and towering figure within the Syrian uprising: Razan Zaitounah. An insight into the complicated and deeply personal relationship with a cause.

Clawing at the sky: fighting for political prisoners in Syria

"It is the most monstrous thing they can do to the Syrian people”. Fadwa Mahmoud, mother, wife and comrade to forcibly disappeared leftist activists, tells us her story of pain and perseverance on the second anniversary of her family's abduction by the Syrian security forces.

Rethinking Syrian media

Citizen journalism rocked the foundations of the Syrian mediascape. Activist videos were on every news channel, yet ordinary Syrians were still unable to tell their stories as they saw it. An introduction to 'Looking inside the uprising' and its feature on the use, impact and effect of new media on the Syrian uprising. بالعربي

Syria and the emergence of grassroots artistic production

An introduction to the colourful depth and diversity of the uprising's cultural production; a confirmation of multiple and overlapping local narratives that defy geopolitical interest and progaganda. Giving expression to such creativity is one of our motives for, 'Looking inside the uprising'.

Opening the debate on sectarianism in Syria

In a country where sectarian issues were ruthlessly suppressed for many decades, and where “instigating sectarian tensions” was a blanket accusation against all political dissidents, every intellectual suddenly has an opinion. The growing corpus of analysis and debate over the issue is startling. But is it going anywhere?

The uprising and Syria’s reconstituted collective memory

After many decades of strict control over historical narratives under the Baathist regime, the uprising broke this hegemony allowing Syrians to reexamine their inherited history.

The importance of telling Syrian stories as they should be told

Why does the media, despite the incredible amount of mediated content created by Syrians since the uprising, increasingly fail to give a voice to Syrian civil society? Meet our new partners 'SyriaUntold' - the group that brings the light back onto Syrian stories, and puts them in their natural context. 

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