Homage to Aleppo

Photography, literature, history.
“A series of quotations/photos transformed into around 45 mixed fragments”

Homage to Aleppo is a literary photography work based on George Orwell’s book “Homage to Catalonia” In his memoir, Orwell characterizes the revolutionary mechanisms that were much common among the Spanish civil war at the beginning of the twenty-century. His daily personal experiences and observations with the Republican rebels were my personal motifs to contemplate the intersections between the Syrian and the Spanish war.
The project consists of a series of my photographs taken in Aleppo (2012-2014) with relevant fragments of Orwell’s text. In this work photography, literature and European history are combined in order to create an ambiguous story that bypasses the specify of time and space.

“He was a tough-looking youth of twenty-five or six, with powerful shoulders. Something in his face deeply moved me. It was the face of a man who would commit murder and throw away his life for a friend–the kind of face you would expect in an Anarchist.
Queer, the affection you can feel for a stranger! It was as though his spirit and mine had momentarily succeeded in bridging the gulf of language and tradition and meeting in utter intimacy. I hoped he liked me as well as I liked him. But I also knew that to retain my first impression of him I must not see him again; and needless to say I never did see him again”.

“The thing that had happened in Spain was, in fact, not merely a civil war, but the beginning of a revolution. It is this fact that the anti-Fascist press outside Spain has made it its special business to obscure. The issue has been narrowed down to ‘Fascism versus democracy’ and the revolutionary aspect concealed as much as possible”.

“It is not a nice thing to see a Spanish boy of fifteen carried down the line on a stretcher, with a dazed white face looking out from among the blankets, and to think of the sleek persons in London and Paris who are writing pamphlets to prove that this boy is a Fascist in disguise. One of the most horrible features of war is that all the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting”.

“under the seeming gaiety of the streets, their many-coloured flags, their propaganda-posters, and thronging crowds, there was an unmistakable and horrible feeling of political rivalry and hatred. People of all shades of opinion were saying forebodingly: ’There’s going to be trouble before long.’ The danger was quite simple and intelligible”..

All texts from George Orwell’s book “Homage to Catalonia”