The SYRIA Cultural Index (SCI) is a project of the Berlin-based cultural non-profit CoCulture. It is an online platform that aims to map, connect, showcase, and empower Syrian cultural producers around the world. The platform aims to reconnect the cultural fabric of Syria that was torn apart after the revolution turned into an international proxy war. It will create a living archive that counteracts the defragmentation and displacement of the Syrian identity by representing and preserving cultural heritage beyond national borders.
A tool for researching, mapping, and networking, the SCI is simultaneously a cultural archive, an event database and a career accelerator. One key feature of the platform is the portfolio section, which serves as a social mapping tool for the Syrian art community. Here members can present their work in an online gallery format and discover and meet other artists. Art thus becomes a bridge to dialogue, exchange of experience, and collaboration opportunities, connecting people across countries and helping them adapt to their new communities. Additionally, the SCI is an indispensable resource for Syrian artists through its database of worldwide events and opportunities such as funds, grants, residencies, and open calls. It is an important tool in extending the reach of Syrian art to international art audiences and vice versa. Professionals such as curators, museums, and researchers can easily explore the gallery, resulting in SCI artists having an increased presence in the global art world.
The SCI is made tangible through a roster of special events and exhibitions hosted at CoCulture’s space and off-site partners. Artists and curators active on the platform will be invited to programme exhibitions, both online and offline, using content and artworks from the portfolios, further bringing the platform to life.
Ultimately, the platform is an opportunity to discover Syria through the perspective of arts and culture, which will provoke a necessary questioning of the image of Syria created by the mainstream media. Experiencing Syria through its rich culture and outstanding art scene will help to shift from common stereotypes, fears, or ignorance, caused by war and immigration problems, to open-mindedness and understanding towards Syrian people. The resulting interest in and interaction with Syrian people enhance integration and cultural diversity.