78/ Pedagogies of Liberation, Gender and the Syrian Revolution (with Banah Ghadbian)

This is a conversation with Banah Ghadbian. She’s a Syrian activist whose dissertation “Ululating from the Underground: Syrian Women’s Protests, Performances,
and Pedagogies under Siege” was the subject of our conversation.

As usual, we ended up talking about a lot of other things as well.

Topics Discussed:

  • Banah’s story growing up in a Syrian revolutionary family and being targeted by the regime as a result
  • The video that Banah released on YouTube in 2011, which the Syrian regime played on state tv
  • Her dissertation: Ululating from the Underground: Syrian Women’s Protests, Performances and Pedagogies under Siege (video summary)
  • “How do Syrian women and youth heal from violence? How can our communities be embodied when displaced from our lands and spirits?”
  • What is often missing from a lot of discourse regarding Syria?
  • The chronicles of Enab Baladi + An idea called Daraya
  • How does Banah think about the Syrian story and how it’s often misrepresented online?
  • What the Syrian revolution already achieved
  • Multiplicities and the entrenched ‘manliness’ of war analyses (reference to episode with Aida Hozic)
  • Undoing the diaspora/local binary
  • Pedagogies of liberation vs refugee/NGO industrial complex
  • Being friends with Hala Barakat, who was murdered in September of 2017 alongside her mother Orouba
  • Scarcity idea coming from an inherently capitalist logic
  • The Syrian revolution and anti-blackness; intersectionality
  • The misleading debates around ‘integration’, Alan Kurdi
  • Talking about sectarianism
  • Being in the dominant group at home, and in the minority in the diaspora

Relevant Resources and names mentioned:

The Videos



Suad Nofal’s one woman protests against the ISIS headquarters in Raqqa

Images from Khotowat: Website no longer exists

Freedom Money and Freedom Days

Freedom Days had a great YouTube channel, here’s a song that shows Syrian women’s invisibilized gendered labors in the revolution: 

Banah mentioned Free Women of Damascus. She calls them Masked Singers of Damascus 

Sustainable rooftop farming projects in liberated Syria 

Estayqazat, Syrian feminist film collective she mentioned 

Women of Banias using Olive branches in protest

Brides of peace, a street protest as part of Stop the Killing with Rima Dali, Rowa Jafar, Kinda Zaour, Lobna Zaour. Damascus 2013
Birds of Peace as part of Freedom Days

Recommended Books

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Music by Tarabeat.

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