In 2012, photographer Issa Touma was forced to leave his home in Aleppo. Reluctant to abandon his country, family and friends, he travelled back and forth several times until East Aleppo was taken back by the regime (SAA) in December 2016.
Notes from Aleppo shows the residents’ painstaking efforts to restore normality in daily life. In a number of short stories, Issa meets up with friends and neighbours, with those who are returning and with those who never left, and he uncovers who are really behind the reconstruction of Aleppo; not the regime, not the Russians, not Europe or the US, let alone the Gulf. In fact, the rebuilding of the city largely comes down to the citizens themselves. Their stories reveal another side of Aleppo, one that has gone unnoticed by international media until now.
Before the war an estimated 22.5 million people lived in Syria including 2.1 million in Aleppo, making it the country’s largest city. Since 2011 over 5.6 million people have become refugees and another 6.6 million are internally displaced. In early 2017 people started returning to their homes in Aleppo. A year later the number of returnees rose to 444,500.
The project offers a subjective take on the ongoing conflict in Syria, and it explores what it means to live in a war-torn city and a society in need of complete rebuilding.
Notes from Aleppo is a free web app, supported by the Mondriaan Fund, Creative Industries Fund NL and Nederlands Filmfonds and based on the multimedia storytelling platform Slices. Every month a new episode will be released.
Notes from Aleppo is the follow-up to the short movies 9 Days – From My Window in Aleppo (2015), winner of the European Short Film Award at the European Film Festival 2016, and Greetings from Aleppo (2016), winner of a DIG and DIRECTORSNL awards.
For more information, visit www.notesfromaleppo.today
Notes from Aleppo web app
Notes from Aleppo is a free web app, based on the multimedia storytelling platform Slices, optimized for mobile devices. In 8 online episodes, Touma follows Aleppo’s residents in their efforts to restore daily life in a war-torn city.