Mission

NAWRAS is a non-profit organization in Berlin founded in 2017 that seeks to ensure the continuity of Syrian art and culture. It supports Syrian artists in Germany by creating opportunities and facilitating partnerships in an open and welcoming environment that helps artists to pursue their works both independently and in collaboration with others.

The founding group members are Syrian artists who live in Berlin and it is through their own experience that they understand those needs. Our main priority is to support Syrian artists in their new lived experience in Germany. We do not wish to promote the approach of simply evoking shallow curiosity or exploitation that have often been directed at Syrian artists in their new space. We seek to break the stereotype of what is “Syrian” and an “artist” and to open up opportunities for artists to present themselves.

Vision

Our vision is to see Syrian artists practicing and producing their artwork through a conscious, fair, equal, and meaningful interaction with others in an effective and influential way within their new environment in Germany. Nawras encourages and enables Syrian artists to follow their career paths and to present their artworks facing the challenge of having to the country and society in which they live.

Nawras is a space for establishing collaborations and networks based on mutual understanding and equality. With great respect for the professionalism of the represented artists, we encourage the presentation of Syrian cultural productions to a German and international audience. For this reason, it is crucial to provide a suitable environment for Syrian artists to help them pursue their artistic work without having to engage in specific agendas or themes away from their personal artistic projects.

Background

The presence of Syrian artists in Germany has grown to such an extent that it can no longer be seen as mere happenstance. Many combined factors have led Syrian expats to Germany. Some have come through forced exile & others through being drawn to the independent culture hub that has been growing here. It is no longer possible to ignore their presence and their part in this hub & the mutual need to begin a dialogue. The idea of establishing Nawras came through recognizing this moment in time as an opportunity to meet the needs of artists.