Monument-Dresden. The Documentaries

On February 7, 2017, the Syrian-German artist Manaf Halbouni (1984) puzzled the entire city of Dresden, Germany with his installation "Monument".

Based on a photograph taken in Aleppo in 2015, where 3 busses were placed vertically to serve as barricades for the protection of civilians, the artist decided to reproduce this image in front of one of Dresden's most characteristic symbols: the ‘Frauenkirche’, or Church of Our Lady. This church and the ‘Neumarkt’ square represent coming to terms with war and is recognized by all as a symbol of restoration. It also reminds us of the long process taken to restore peace and freedom to this post-war society.

With ‘Monument’, it is Manaf Halbouni’s intention to remind us that we have not always lived in peace and that we must always be aware of the privilege and responsibility that goes hand in hand with the affluent society in which we live. And yet, his installation has been controversial. For some citizens in Dresden, ‘Monument’ was considered a disgrace and an inappropriate installation for this place, while others viewed ‘Monument’ rather as a symbol of peace, freedom, and humanity. The installation has become a place to pay respect to the victims of all wars and make dialogue and discussion possible.

This series of videos filmed on February 6th, 7th and 12th corresponds to the construction, inauguration, and interview with the artist, and depict the impressions and atmosphere created by ‘Monument’.




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