Syria Global Day 15 March 2012

On their website the organisers of Dox Box festival address us in the following way, under the headline Syria Global Day:

The fifth edition of DOX BOX International Documentary Film festival in Syria this year was supposed to take place in March, and conclude on March 15th , 2012. However, the festival team has decided to refrain from holding this edition in protest against the killing and oppression of civilians in this country. Herewith our message to the world:

We are outraged, disheartened and anguished at the silence of the world as it has witnessed the massacre of our people. Silence is complacency. Our people, whom, for the record, have embraced the magical gaze of documentary cinema in Damascus, Homs, Tartous, and Aleppo, laughed, cried and dreamed, watched stories and people from Egypt, Serbia, Tunis, Denmark, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma, Chile, Morocco, Ecuador, Algeria, France, Lebanon, Palestine, Holand, the USA, China, India, the UK, Germany, Czeck Republic, Turkey, Finland, Sweden, Jordan… and many other countries and people in the world… 

This silence means that the world only sees in Syria the Hamidiyyeh Souq, the Crusader castles, and a handful theories about geo-strategic equations in the region… It is the same narrow lens through which we once used to see the world through, when we were in the 1980s, isolated, learning about the people of the world of the world through our ‘confiscated’ evening news broadcast… when all we knew about other people was our government’s briefing of their governments’ political agendas. This was the reason why DOX BOX, since it was born,

fought hard to forge a space where we, Syrians, can share and understand how human fears, aspiration, questions and dignity can be one, across the planet, and still be variant and colorful.

Thus, today, it is not the time or place to hold screenings of the world inside Syria. On the contrary, today is the time to put up screenings of Syria; globally.  We want the world, through our technically-modest cinema, to see our people.  We want the world to witness how poverty, oppression and isolation do not prevent humans from being spectacularly brave, stubborn and dignified. In a Global Day for Syria that we choose to take place precisely on the very evening of the “canceled” closing night of DOX BOX, which happens to coincide with the first anniversary of the Syrian revolution.  A coincidence that we read not see as a random event, but rather as an intuition, confirming documentary cinema’s role as a mirror people’s lives and as an indicator of justice.

On this DOX BOX Global Day, we will exhibit some works from the two princely masters of cinema and dissent, Omar Amiralay and Ossama Mohammad, as well as works from the generation of successors, Nidal al-Dibs, Meyyar al-Roumi, Reem Ali, Joude Gorani, Rami Farah and one of the most recent works produced today, Sunflower, from Rastan in August of 2011, directed by a young filmmaker who shall remain anonymous for his or her safety.

We invite audiences in cities across the world to attend these screenings on the night of March 15th, the DOX BOX Global Day, and share with Syrians a chapter of their life, from 1974 until this day.

We wish you great screenings, and hope you support our people\’s cause.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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