Natalia Ali, born in Damascus in 1986, has been living and working in Berlin since 2011. From 2005 to 2009 she studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Damascus University, and from 2012 to 2016 at University of Arts Berlin.


Ich wäre nicht gekommen (I would not have come)


2016 - ongoing

The film series Ich wäre nicht gekommen (I would not have come) is based on my experience of working as a translator at an NGO. The women there tell their story and I translate that. My role is solely to translate that back and forth between patient and therapist. My own consternation remains largely outside the frame. These stories are used by me as a basis for staging myself using the languages Arabic, Russian, German. They are emotional images of the women in me. N.A.

Ich wäre nicht gekommen (I would not have come), series of videos, 2014 ongoing

Dimashq – Damascus



The video installation Damascus was created in the context of my periodic return to Syria in recent years. My family situation forced me to deal with everyday life in a country at war. The room is empty and darkened, the white screen hovers over the heads of the spectators, the sound echoes through the sterility – the video collage and the sound have an uninhibited effect on the visitors. Fragments of the experience. Short sequences, shot in 2017 and 2018, show life in Damascus between everyday life, fear and peace – they capture the banality and absurdity of war. Even in war, life goes on: a concert, a reading evening, an explosion – no reaction from the people. The events leave me distraught at first, and yet I become part of them. We are paralyzed by the long years of war. No bodies or blood are to be seen in the collages and only the sound transports the fear and terror. My powerlessness remains untouched. The camera creates a distance between me and everyday life and thus allows me to observe what is happening. N.A.

Dimashq – Damascus, 2018, 15'22", video

Distant and Close

Interview with Natalia Ali, 2020.

Distant and Close