Past events

Queens of Syria & Boya Boya
Wednesday 24 February 2016, 01:00pm
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Ethnographic Film Series

Organised by SOAS Department of Anthropology & Sociology in conjunction with Royal Anthropological Institute

Wednesday 24 February 1pm, Khalili Lecture Theatre, Lower Ground Floor, Main Building, SOAS

Queens of Syria, Yasmin Fedda, 2014, 70 mins
Boya Boya (Shine Shine), Karen Boswall, Ruba Al Akash, 2014, 18 mins

The first film tells the story of fifty women from Syria, all forced into exile in Jordan, who came together in to create and perform their own version of the Trojan Women, the timeless Ancient Greek tragedy about the plight of women in war. What followed was a emotionally powerful cross-cultural encounter across millennia, in which women born in the 20th century Syria found a blazingly vivid mirror of their own experiences in the stories of a queen, princesses and ordinary women like them, uprooted, enslaved and bereaved by the Trojan War.

The second film is a portrait of Syrian refugee Mohammed, a 12 year-old shoe shine boy, "Boya Boya" (shine, shine) looks at the reality of the growing population of urban refugees from the point of view of a child. While supporting the women and children of his family, Mohammed still smiles and sings his way through his long working day cleaning shoes around the Jordanian city of Irbid. Through song and laughter, he touches the hearts of his clients, but for how long will he be able to keep finding and creating these moments of joy while carrying the burden of such responsibility and sadness? Q and A with the filmmaker, Karen Boswall, will follow the screening.

For further information on the films please contact: RAI Film Officer, Caterina Sartori,

All are welcome, booking not required.

Location 4