Still in remote due to the Covid-19 situation, our team held together with EZKS a series of workshops to understand the core aspects of this project. As a start, we asked them and ourselves who are the target groups. The Syrian people, sure, but we wanted to know more details.
Together with them, we portrayed three Personas of different ages, with different interests and backgrounds and realized that for the project the younger generations – between 20 and 40 – were the right ones to address. They are the “new” Syria, the one open to the future, smart, awake and yet connected to the culture of their country. What they share is a modern and fresh look at things, and at the same time a disillusionment towards politics. They are aware of what’s happening, and they prefer not to hear empty promises. Truth, authenticity and the strength to have big dreams is what we wanted to transmit. The overall message at the end is clear: a constitution is the only viable solution to build a new and just state, and this process, although complicated and difficult, is worth going as a joint effort between all parties involved, opposition and government.
With all this in mind we outlined a dramaturgy for the entire series and in the following three storytelling workshops we defined the specific content of each film. Direct opening and closing questions addressing a collective “we”, meant for the Syrian people, connect the stories and the viewers´ appetite in discovering the rest in the following episodes.
Concerning the voice-over artist, we decided to have an Arabic native speaker for the entire series recording also the English versions, to make the story more authentic and thus strengthening the identification in the target groups.
The first film takes stock of the actual situation in the country by looking closer at what happened seven years after the UN-Resolution 2254 passed in 2015. As the voice-over bitterly states at the very beginning, nothing has improved for the Syrian people. The document was the first instrument of international law to propose a direct solution to the Syrian issue, in contrast to previous United Nations resolutions which focused on certain aspects of the crisis such as humanitarian concerns or relief measures. Yet, every point of its content, such as for instance the institution of a transitional government, free and fair elections or the release of political prisoners, remained unfulfilled. But then the same voice affirms stubbornly that a constitution is something to still believe in. And to actively work on.
The following episode presents the role of the Syrian Constitutional Committee, the United Nations-facilitated constituent assembly meeting in Geneva formed by representatives from the opposition, the government and the civil society – 50 people per each group, 15 in its smaller composition. We see whose interests they do all represent, who’s backing them and how are the United Nations managing to make them sit all at the same table. The Committee and the Syrian people at large, face indeed a massive challenge, as portrayed in the third episode: the wiliness and readiness to overcome grief and anger, or the fear of retaliation to rebuild trust as the basis for a common effort in rewriting together a new constitution.
Finally, in the last episode of the series, the most abstract one, we try to answer another complex question: what is Syrian identity? What is that unite the Syrian people? Many aspects, since diversity in many fields, are the answer. And the acceptance of differences is the only way to come together again under the protection of a modern constitution based on shared power. A new start, for everyone. The right path to realizing big ideas!