On June 15, 2016, a screening was held at the Pera Museum in Taksim, Istanbul, for the documentary film “In The Dark Times – Culture in Exile.”
The screening was hosted by Pera Film in collaboration with the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation and the Goethe-Institut Istanbul.
The documentary describes the life and cultural strategies of artists, actors, musicians and activists with a common forced migration background who are currently living in host countries like Turkey and Jordan.
The film explores these artists’ impressive productions in film, music, dance and theater in Istanbul and Amman as they struggle to build up a new cultural identity in exile.
It also strives to be an authentic documentation of the efforts of migrants and refugees from Syria to find meaning from suffering as well as about rethinking, and rebuilding their culture outside of their native country.
The film aims to enlighten its audience as to the challenges being faced by Syrians to transform their experiences into something meaningful that will preserve and enhance their culture.
The protagonists express their own needs to develop new sensitivity, new imagination, new theories and new thinking beyond any suffering, beyond any violence, and beyond any terror as implemented by governments like the Assad regime did in Syria.
Directed by Sabine Küper-Büsch and Thomas Büsch, the documentary utilizes the writings of Bertolt Brecht -- a 20th century German poet, playwright, and theater director -- as a metaphor for issuing a strong appeal to people of all nationalities for global solidarity.
Brecht’s quotation – “In the dark times, will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing. About the dark times.” – becomes a reference to how Syria’s refugee artists are able to draw upon their experiences of suffering and exile to create art that transmits the reality of the Syrian story to others through film, music and writing.
The screening was open to all viewers free of charge and a panel discussion was held afterwards that included Sabine Küper-Büsch, one of the German directors of the film, as well as several other participants who played a significant role in the making of the documentary.