PICK OF THE WEEK:: Almanac 2015: Syria
Syria’s civil war shows no sign of ending. The year 2014 saw United States-led military intervention in response to the rise of Daesh (the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), a sign of the increasingly international nature of the struggle. Amid the death and destruction, the Syrian uprising that began in 2011 has seen an outpouring of creativity in the form of political posters, graffiti, photography and painting in addition to hundreds of thousands of videos documenting the conflict and daily life shot on personal phones and shared online.
In the capital Damascus, the National Museum has a strong modern art collection, but does not exhibit contemporary works. Other regime-controlled institutions, such as the Damascus Opera House (Dar al-Assad for Culture and Arts), run skeleton programs even through the worst periods of fighting. Since 2012, the nonprofit AllArtNow, one of the few initiatives that held cultural programs in Damascus, has given up its physical space to house refugees.