Gardens Speak

Across Syria, many gardens conceal the dead bodies of activists and protesters who adorned the streets during the early periods of the uprising. These domestic burials play out a continuing collaboration between the living and the dead. The dead protect the living by not exposing them to further danger at the hands of the regime. The living protect the dead by conserving their identities, telling their stories, and not allowing their deaths to become instruments to the regime.

Gardens Speak is an interactive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. Each narrative has been carefully constructed with the friends and family members of the deceased to retell their stories as they themselves may have recounted it. They are compiled with found audio that evidences their final moments.


Interactive sound installation performance by Tania El Khoury 2014
Production Manager: Jessica Harrington
Production Assistant and Audience Guide: Naya Salamé
Research Assistant and Writer (Arabic): Kinana Issa
Calligraphy and Tombstones Design: Dia Batal
Set Design: Abir Saksouk
Sound Recording & Editing: Khairy Eibesh (Stronghold Sound)
English Translation: Ziad Abu-Rish
Set Construction (in London): SPLEX Flexible Designs & Presentation

Co-commissioned by Fierce Festival in Birmingham and Next Wave Festival in Melbourne. Developed through the Artsadmin Artists’ Bursary Scheme. Supported by Arts Council of England.


Shortlisted, Artraker Award, 2014
Artsadmin Artist Bursary Scheme, 2013


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