With the barrel bombs falling on Ghouta, civilians sought shelter in the basements of their homes. I was one of them and holding on to my camera, I tried to film what I couldn’t express in words.
We could try to explain the geopolitical context. The tyrannical and corrupt regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, guilty of war crimes against its own people. The population: worn down, marked by poverty, unemployment, the repression of the Sunni majority. And of course, Daesh, who sow even more confusion in a conflict exacerbated since the 2011 uprisings. Add in foreign interests, support for the regime from Iran and Russia. American strikes against the Islamic State. There is so much to fill in before we get to the Douma bombings of the last rebel stronghold in Western Ghouta. We need to talk about the use of chemical weapons, the civilian massacres, the sarin gas, the chlorine. But what are these words worth, these explanations and geopolitical lessons, against the barbarism of these civilian attacks? Douma Underground short-circuits all of these rationalizations with its final image. After all the discourse, the analyses, the ideologies, one thing remains: bombing innocent civilians is a crime against humanity.
Tënk's Artistic Director
Born in Douma, Damascus countryside in 1994, Tim Alsiofi started studying sound engineering and music in 2009. He couldn’t complete his studies because of the blockade imposed on the city of Douma and eastern Ghouta. He was forcedly displaced in 2018. During this period, he worked as a director and a sound engineer in Russel Studio in Douma (2014-2018). He also worked as a broadcaster and reporter for several local and international radio stations.
After the beginning of his work as a field photographer in 2013, he contributed to the transfer of images from the heart of eastern Ghouta to numerous news agencies. He is a member of Sam Lenses team and Russel studio, and a founding member of the voluntary project Humanity in Syria. Tim also worked as a video photographer and director of photography in a number of short and long documentaries. Still Recording (2018) is one of his latest works. He has filmed and directed the short films Sons of War and The Flute and the Cemetery for Orient TV. In 2019, he signs Douma Underground which won a special mention for best documentary at REGARD, 2020.