18.00 – 18.30: Street Music
18.30 – 20.00: Taste of Cement
While Syria is in ruins, several Syrian refugees are working at construction sites building houses in Lebanon, which is still not rebuilt since its own civil war, which ended in 1990. In Taste of Cement we follow Syrian builders who are building a skyscraper in Beirut. Because of a curfew on refugees, they are not allowed to leave the building site. When they’re not working they’re living in the unfinished basement of the building. Through footage from Aleppo and Beirut, the parallels between the lives of the workers trapped in the skyscraper and those trapped in the ruins after the bombs, become apparent.
This short film, directed by Orwa Mokdad (Lebanon/Syria, 2013) takes us on a journey from Damascus to the streets of Beirut through the world of music, youth and freedom, introducing us to a facet of the Syrian refugee experience through the lives of four young musicians who delve into their memories, yearnings and hopes of return, determined to create their own private space far from their daily troubles as refugees in the Lebanese capital.