Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems

Musical memories capture mood of displaced Syrians

Art project with families impacted by unrest creates collection of hummed songs.

A sound-based art project aims to tap into the personal and collective memories of displaced Syrian people.

Displaced families in countries including Turkey, Germany, France, and Scotland have contributed by humming melodies or songs relating to food and daily life.

Syrian woman cooking
The humming project seeks to capture songs associated with food.

Ten short humming pieces based on some of the submissions have been collated in an online collection by artist Suk-Jun Kim.

Melodies in the humming project include songs about farming, family, and prayer.

Focus on food

Images and quotes from From the Field, a sister project on Food Security in Syria and the Impact of Covid-19 on displaced Syrian communities, are also included in the project.

The initiative forms part of a series of research projects focused on the future of food security in regions that are unstable or and affected by conflict, such as Syria.

It is aimed at recognising psychological experiences relating to lack of access to food, and to acknowledge that the design and implementation of any interventions linked to securing food is also an emotional task.

The Syrian Humming Project was supported by the Global Challenges Research  Fund.

These are hums for homesickness, love, working in the field, trading, raising chicken, preparing meals, having coffee, religious devotion, love for the nation and their people, nostalgia and commemoration, and their particular challenges during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Suk-Jun KimArtist, Syrian Humming Project

Related links

One Health Field Network

Syrian Food Futures