On World Refugee Day, Ikon screens Imploded, burned, turned to ash (2021), a performance by Syrian-born and Cambridge-based artist Issam Kourbaj. Created to mark one decade of the Syrian uprising, it was performed and livestreamed on 15 March 2021 – the tenth anniversary of the first day of unrest.
Filmed during the second COVID-19 lockdown at The Howard Theatre at Downing College, Cambridge, it was watched live across the world. In collaboration with composer Richard Causton and soprano Jessica Summers, as well as Kettle’s Yard, The Heong Gallery and The Fitzwilliam Museum, the original performance coincided with the artist’s display of 366 eye idols created from Aleppo soap (Don’t Wash Your Hands: Neither Light Agrees To Enter The Eyes Nor Air The Lungs, 2020) at The Fitzwilliam Museum (2 December 2020 – 5 September 2021).
The recording of this performance will be screened in multiple locations worldwide, including cultural institutions and churches across the UK, Europe, Middle East and USA, throughout Refugee Week (20–26 June 2022).
Issam Kourbaj, Imploded, burned, turned to ash (2021)
Still from a performance (duration 36 min and 8 seconds) © Issam Kourbaj