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.