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Elizabeth White

British Council’s Country Director in Syria, based in Damascus

Elizabeth White is the British Council’s Country Director in Syria, based in Damascus. The British Council is the UK’s cultural relations body, working around the world in English, education and the arts. You can read more personal stories from the British Council at

Contemporary Art in Syria by the Light of Two Candles

Earlier this year, the Syrian Foreign Minister made the dramatic announcement that - following European criticism of the crackdown on opposition protests - Syria would remove Europe from their maps of the world. Within hours, enterprising traders in the souq were carrying brand new stock of T-shirts - a map of the world, with a great big gap between Russia and the Atlantic. But this very Syrian, very entrepreneurial joke covers a colder reality. As the unrest continues into its tenth month, Syria finds itself increasingly isolated from all but a handful of other countries. The international contacts, dialogues, exchanges, which had begun to flourish in the arts as in other fields in the last few years, are now withering away.
18/12/2011 22:55 GMT