Our third in our series of city-focused issues comes out at a very interesting time indeed. If anything, it shows how we live in a world constantly in flux, and people have had to navigate constant changes since time immemorial.

This issue, we look to Paris, a city that has always had a special relationship with Syria – first as a mandate authority and then as a city of artistic enlightenment, and now, a safe haven and artistic muse. The Syrian artists who call it home are numerous, too many to feature all in this issue, but we hope this gives a small flavour of the incredible diversity of Syrian talent to be found there, from artists to non-profit initiatives. 

Artist and academic Nour Asalia kicks off the issue with an essay on this historical relationship and the many waves of artists who have studied and lived there. It is complemented by Nemat Atassi’s interview with the founders of two important Syrian art initiatives: Portes Ouvertes and the Caravan Culturelle Syrienne. Artist interviews include Monif Ajjaj, Bady Dalloul, Khaled Takreti and Walid El Masri, as well as features on the installation and performance works of Bissane Al Charif and Dino Ahmad Ali; the sculpture of Alaa Abou Shahin and Khaled Dawwa, as well as signifant works in the oeuvres of Dalaa Dakak, Reem Yasouf and Ola Abdalla.

What unites all the Syrian artists who have come to France, across centuries, generations and experiences, is the common desire for self fulfilment and meaning. Something we all share, and a reminder during these uncertain times that we all have far more in common than not.

Alors, a Paris et bonne lecture!