Cut Video’s “100 Years of Beauty” Series Explores Syria’s Rich and Diverse History

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In Cut Video’s latest in their 100 Years of Beauty series, they look at the fashion history of Syria, a country that has seen a huge amount of change in the past 100 years.

What’s really interesting about this video is that Cut Video illuminated on their Pinterest page how the political changes throughout Syria’s history has affected the way women dress.

For example:

1910s – Syria had been part of the Ottoman Empire since 1516 and its territories remained Ottoman eyalets (provinces) until 1918. This photograph is of a woman baking bread; it was originally used as a postcard.

1960s – The Arab Socialist Baathist Party orchestrate a largely Shia military uprising and depose Syrian president Nazim al-Kudsi. For a few years in the late 1960s, the transition is bumpy, though bloodless, as the country realigns itself to a strict, socialist paradigm. The new party spurs artistic and social movements as reactions—both positive and negative—to the Socialist uprising.

2010s – Following the Arab Spring in Libya and Egypt, Sunni, Druze and Kurdish citizens are inspired to voice their dissatisfaction at the long rule of the Assad family. Assad’s response to Kurdish and Sunni protestors (as well as disaffected Shias) is violent. The country erupts into a civil war, creating a power vacuum. The current civil war is less about maintaining a Syrian republic and more about a redefinition of the Syrian identity completely.

It’s so easy to think of fashion as something “trivial.” It’s also easy to hear about a place on the news and reduce it to conversation fodder, as opposed to thinking of it as a living, breathing place full of individual people, each with their own hopes, dreams, and style. This video, and this entire series, does a great job of reminding us that no country is only one thing or another, but an ever-changing cauldron full of ingredients and influences that shape its contents.

(via A Plus)

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.
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