Typing…SYRIA is a conversation between two Syrian characters that unfolds on WhatsApp, from April 1st to April 30th, 2015.
The project experiments with re-imagining effective, communicative narrative methods by testing the boundaries and ethics of witnessing intimate conversations between two fictionalized Syrians, who are based on real sources. Drawing from the vocabulary of a collage of news articles on Syrian refugees, the advertisement of this project mimics the international community attitudes towards refugees. In playing with mediated appeals of exclusivity and intimacy (“exclusive access!”, “untold stories”), and tragedy (“human faces of tragedy”), Typing…SYRIA asks questions about the role of international media – as well as the international audience -- in its often voyeuristic interactions with refugees.
Simultaneously, this project utilizes a platform – WhatsApp – in order to diminish the boundaries between fiction and truth, infusing the experience of the Syrians who collaborated on this project into the daily lives of the subscribers. Day to day movements of subscribers are permeated by notifications on their phones, intermittent messages of Khalid and Sa'eed appearing alongside messages from friends and family. (Read more about the characters of Khalid and Sa'eed here).
At the end of the month, each subscriber retains an archive of the entire project on their personal WhatsApp account. This website also serves as an archive for the subscribers' experience, in their screenshots and comments that were contributed throughout the month.
As the curator of this project, I invite you to leave any comments and reflections you might have.