Founded in 2010, the Abounaddara Collective is a group of filmmakers working to provide an alternative image of Syrian society through narratives that run counter to the typically portrayals of the conflict in Syria found in the mainstream media.
Charif Kiwan, the Collective’s spokesperson, said that that the group is committed to making a short film every week as a contribution to the revolution. “But we didn’t film our revolution in the way that you might see it on YouTube through unbearable chaotic images. Rather we sought to understand it through the stories of individuals who are on the other side of the news. For us it is a question of making an immediate cinema without succumbing to the tyranny of the news, of making a political cinema without succumbing to facile denunciation.”
The nickname Abounaddara literally means “man with glasses” and it was chosen because in Arab cities ordinary people are associated by their professions. But the name also refers to Dziga Vertov, a pioneer of documentary cinema, who called himself “the man with a camera”. Privileging short and intimate films, the members of the group -who are all anonymous and volunteers-, aim to make an “emergency cinema” which documents everyday lives of ordinary men and women who are neither heroes nor victims but “just” human beings.
Image above: still from one of the Abounaddara collective’s short films. Photograph: Human Rights Watch/Abounaddara collective
On vimeo: www.vimeo.com