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The Rojava Project


“Hi. We’re making a space to think and learn and talk about what's going on in Northern Syria. This is a bit of writing you can read before you spend some time with us. We are Andy, Alfie and Ben. Recently, we started to learn about Rojava, which is an area roughly the 1.5 times the size of Yorkshire. It’s hard to find all the facts and it’s harder still to hear the voices of people living and fighting there, but since the conflict in Syria began in 2011, Rojava has declared itself an autonomous region. People have claimed a place and political system that is democratic, grassroots, representative of all ethnicities and focused on women’s liberation. We want to present, as much as possible, the people who are living and struggling for Rojava, who are largely missing from most of what we see. ‘The Rojava Project’ is by Forest Sounds Theatre in collaboration with photographer Maryam Ashrafi.”

The Rojava Project was a participative installation created for Unshut Festival. Participants are invited to help assemble four 900-piece jigsaw puzzles depicting images taken during the Syrian Conflict by photographer Miriam Ashrafi, accompanied by readings and talks from people in the region. Dozens of festival attendees worked over eleven hours at this nearly impossible task. The work was designed to foster a mindful space for discussion about representation and alterity, war and freedom, and for us to educate ourselves.

Created by
Andy Owen Cook, Ben Jackson, Alfie Heffer, Maryam Ashrafi.

Maryam Ashrafi, Theatre Deli, Access Space, Sarah Sharp, Charlotte Blackburn, UnShut Festival & DINA,

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