Around 350 professional artists have defected from Syria’s state and regime institutions, with a great majority of them not receiving any support from any Syrian opposition group or friendly country, political activists revealed.
Activists inside Syria said no aid or support had been given to the majority of these artists from any opposition institution or group, and that the majority of them have not received any support from the countries which have backed the Syrian military factions, pointing to the importance of this particular sector of dissidents for the revolution.
Most of the cultural and artistic institutions, unions and federations set up by regime opponents have not succeeded in becoming alternatives to the unions and federations monitored by the regime because of the indifference of most of their supporters, which has led many of these artists to live under terrible financial conditions, whether inside or outside Syria.
Hundreds of artists, both professionals and art school students, announced over the last five years the establishment of various groups for artists as an alternative to the unions that are monitored by the Baath Party, the security agencies and top officials. These groups have stressed in the regulations the need to recover the proactive role of art and culture in the life of the community to help hasten the transitional process from a system of dictatorship and repression to a democratic, free and pluralistic system.
The regime’s assault began with its attack on artists and intellectuals who support the demands of the people for freedom, democracy and dignity, and they were defamed and fought with since the beginning of the uprising in Syria, especially those who accused the regime of repression and killing unarmed Syrians and those who demanded the removal of the hand of the security agencies from the lives of citizens, and the closure of the political prisons.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.