Digital Communities

Anerkennung - Honorary Mentions

Syria Untold


Syria Untold is an initiative launched in 2012 by a group of Syrian net-activists, journalists, technicians and writers in coordination with two Italian new media scholars. From the beginning, the participants shared the idea of developing a platform capable of aggregating and contextualizing web-content related to civil movements and creative resistance in Syria. By organizing, curating and providing context for the large amount of existing material, Syria Untold aims to highlight the extraordinary work that Syrians from diverse religious, ethnic and identity backgrounds are producing, to put them in context and to provide a platform for them to engage in dialog as an alternative to the armed conflict. Our work focuses on data collecting and curating, both in English and in Arabic. Our main target groups are Syrian, Arab and international opinion-makers such as journalists, academics and civil-society groups.

Since the beginning of the uprising in March 2011, a new generation of activists have been involved in multiple political initiatives and new forms of cultural expression. Most of this content is distributed by loose networks of activists through Facebook pages and profiles, Twitter accounts, and YouTube pages. Syrians use social media to discuss political matters, highlight campaigns, plan political initiatives or simply express their points of view through diverse means of expression: paintings, demonstrations, pictures, writings, videos, television shows, radio programs, etc. This emerging cultural and political environment is particularly rich, but it is also difficult to capture and put into context, especially for external observers. The raw content circulating on Facebook and Twitter, mostly in Arabic, needs interpretation, fact-checking and contextualization. In other words, it needs to be curated by journalists and experts who have the competence to make it accessible to everyone. With mainstream media increasingly focused on geo-strategic and military aspects, the “non-violent movement” is almost invisible to the general public.

In the current conflict, with the main focus on military and geopolitical aspects, there is a lack of contextualized information regarding the reality on the ground in Syria. Syria Untold aims to highlight civil work on the ground, promote dialog between grassroots groups and organizations and draw attention to their work. These grassroots projects, organizations and activists, which have not received enough attention from the media and the international community, are key actors in civil-society building. In the post-conflict situation, with so many open wounds and tensions, Syria will face a long and difficult reconciliation process. By highlighting and amplifying inclusive projects, spaces and civil actors representative of the Syrian diversity, Syria Untold aims to pave the way for and become a significant actor in promoting coexistence and civil-society building in a pluralistic society.


Syria Untold

Syria Untold was launched in 2012 by a group of Syrian net-activists, journalists, technicians and writers in coordination with two Italian new-media scholars. The team is made up of ten members. The editorial tasks are divided between the main Arabic team (one editor-in-chief, one writer, two curators), the English-language team (one editor, two translators/writers). The technical support is handled by a web developer. The team is also supported by two consultants who are involved in promoting the project and in fund-raising activities.