The Syrian opposition has used web and performance activism to bolster and spread an ethos of creative resistance, subverting state ceremonies and rhetoric. These activists have transformed the martyr into the one who died defying rather than supporting the state.
The song “Come on, Leave Bashar!” appears in a variety of performance actions, as when a Syrian activist recorded it and other oppositional songs on digital recorders that he hid in a government finance building, then surreptitiously videotaped guards rushing to silence the chanting, and uploaded the spectacle to YouTube.
The final episode of Masasit Mati’s 13 episode YouTube series, Top Goon: “Last days in hell.” Masasit Mati uses finger puppets to depict a comically inept Bishou (a diminutive of Bashar) as he and his “goons” terrorize citizens to no effect.
On the eve of the December 2011 local elections, the organization Freedom Days created election posters featuring photographs of individuals killed by the regime in lieu of the Party’s candidates, then posted them throughout Damascus; “Surprise election of martyrs for freedom!” is a series of close-ups of hands pasting the posters in lobbies and on exterior walls, accompanied by Lisa Gerrard’s soaring track, “Now We Are Free” (2000).
Abou Naddara’s vimeo channel, which includes links to their short films: