"DABAKA" project brought together 4 Syrian and Lebanese professional musicians and visual artist. The musicians revisited together songs of Syrian-Lebanese folk repertoire, giving a positive example of peaceful coexistence and collaborative positive environment. The project encouraged more dialogue between artists of the cultural scene working in the areas of peace-building and conflict prevention to foster a greater understanding of the unique role that the arts can play. “DABAKA” included the release of an album, a live visual concert at the Grand Factory (Beirut), alongside a round-table on "Music: a Cultural Bridge" at the Goethe-Institut.
This project is organized by Red Oak and supported by UNHCR.
Round-table on “Music: a Cultural Bridge” at the Goethe-Institut
On the occasion of World Refugee Day, Red Oak organized on 22 June 2018 a discussion under the title: “Music: a Cultural Bridge”. “How can music, as a universal language, create connections and potential collaborations between Syrian and Lebanese musicians?” Indeed, the arrival of new talents and a new audience has revitalized the Lebanese art scene with artists who, despite the Syrian-Lebanese cultural neighborhood, have a different vision of art and culture. Rooms that were formerly empty are now filled with a Syrian audience for whom music is appealing. Musicians from Aleppo are reviving the music that was neglected by Lebanese. Thus, trough art and culture, a new dialogue is taking form after long years of silence since the Lebanese civil war.
Music creation and visual creation
Four Lebanese and Syrian professional musicians from the independent music scene composed together, and one Lebanese video artist developed a visual pour a common work with them. They were committed to revisit together songs of Syrian-Lebanese folk repertoire.
Release of an album
The musical repertoire composed for the concert was recorded in an album that was composed of 4 songs.
A unique CD compilation with tracks written, composed, and produced by the artists was handed out during the event. 1500 albums were printed and distributed free of charge during the visual concert.
On 18 December 2018, Syrian and Lebanese musicians presented a unique audio-visual performance with the content they created. The event, which was free of charge, took place at the Grand Factory and brought a diverse audience of over 1000 people to the encounter of our common heritage in a contemporary setting. The targeted audience was a young crowd that is interested in cultural events. Samer Eldahr, Khaled Omran, Wassim Bou Malham and Wael Kodaih took the stage with an intense musical performance alongside an elaborate visual experience devised by Joan Baz. Revisiting the folkloric “dabkeh”, a dance and musical practice emerging from the Levantine’s common heritage, the artists joined their passion and talent to reclaim its place within a contemporary context. A DJ took the stage after the musicians.