10 + 11 APRIL : Sarah Zeryab

Video, 17’05”, Arabic with English subtitles
produced by Bidayyat, Lebanon, 2016
Author: Sarah Zeryab

SCREENING DATE: Friday 10 and Saturday 11 April 2020 – 48 hours available on Vimeo HIER&JETZT: Connections


Throughout the three years Sarah Zeryab has lived in Beirut, WhatsApp has been the only means of communication between herself and her parents in Damascus. Sarah receives from her father a voice note of him singing her a song by Oum Kulthoum. It is through the voice notes exchanged with her parents that Sarah discovers that the war has reversed their roles: the adults have become children who devour memories of the past. She, meanwhile, asks herself, “What do my parents look like now?”


Sarah Zeryab was born in Syria to Palestinian parents and studied French literature at Damascus University between 2009 and 2012. She moved to Beirut in 2013, where she worked as a researcher and with various civil society organizations. In 2015 she created the short video ‘Mosaic’, and in 2016 she joined Bidayyat’s 6-month cinematic direction workshop, over the course of which she created her short film ‘Reflections’. She is now based in Berlin where she dedicates her time to her artistic practice, mainly producing audiovisual and photographic works. She is also a part time trainer at the empowerMädchen organisation where she supervises workshops with groups of young women from different ethnic backgrounds.
Sarah Zeryab is one of the selected artists for the residency program HIER&JETZT:Connections 2020

Growing up as a Palestinian in a camp, I never thought I wanted to be an artist. After experiencing war and living in exile, however, I felt that I should at least do something, contribute in some way. I went into art because I couldn’t write or speak in a way that was just to the cause.
Esthetics is one side to art, but so is the concept and the meaning behind the artwork itself. I like to see myself as a voice for marginalized people and women. These topics will always be at the core of my works, no matter how personal they may be.