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  • Thursday November 1st, 2018



Since 2011, Syrian cities have been changing. Not only their physical environments, buildings and spaces became affected by war, but also stories of cities are being more and more forgotten.

This competition is an attempt to create bridges between seniors who lived in Syria between the 1960s and 1990s, and younger generations interested in architecture, urbanism, heritage and visualizations. The aim of the competition is to produce an illustration/map on A3 that visualizes the narratives, memories, and stories told by a senior or more (could be a relative or someone you know) such as: growing up in the city; how it was experienced and lived; how it changed over time; and what was its urban lifestyle and culture.  One or more of these aspects should be expressed in the form of a map that sheds the light on parts of the city and its spaces and cultures that no longer exist, or threatened to disappear.

By doing so, we do not intend to romanticize the past, but to highlight urban diversities, lifestyles, and heritage that was experienced in Syria before the war. Producing these maps for the competition would be a mean to show the depth and richness of urban life in Syria beyond the current image of the city burden by war and destruction.


As mentioned earlier, each submission should narrate the memories of a senior citizen about a city or a village in which he/she lived. In this stage, teams should be able to document the stories (audio recording), and to draw together with the senior on a map in order for them to document and visualize the spatial dimensions of the story on a map. Participants are encouraged to experiment with different visualization techniques and expressions such as: hand drawing, black & white, sketching, collages, mixed media, comics, text, digital illustrations, scenes. However, participants should keep in mind the map as a basis for the production of the outcome.


The competition is open to participants from all nationalities and ages.

  • Students are highly encouraged to participate.
  • We encourage multi-disciplinary teams that include architects, artists, architects and experts in heritage.
  • Submissions can be provided by individuals or teams up to 4 persons.
  • Individuals and teams can make up to 2 entries.

All teams and individuals interested in participating are requested to fill in the registration form (below) before Sunday 30 December 2018.


  • The map should be submitted as:
    • A3 Landscape
    • Resolution 300 dpi
    • File size no more than 10 MBs
  • A text of no more than 500 words. It should explain:
    • What is the Map/Story about and how it was visualized.
    • Why is it original?
    • Give background on the team and the interviewed senior and his/her relationship to the individual or the team.
    • Language of the text could be in Arabic or English (or both).

Please note that each submitted file should have:

  • Participant Code (this will be received upon registration)
  • Title of work


  • Originality of the story and its ability to shed light on forgotten/hidden stories and urban dynamics that shaped a Syrian city or village.
  • Creativity and balance.
  • Quality of illustration/Drawing techniques.

Important Dates:

  • Deadline for registration: 30 December 2018 (Extended to 15 January 2019)
  • Deadline for submission: 30 March
  • Winners announcement: 15 April


Omar AbdulAziz Hallaj (Syrian Architect and Urban Planner, previous Aga Khan Award winner); Hrair Sarkissian (Syrian Artist, expert in photography and migration); Nermin El Sherif (Egyptian Architect, expert in counter mapping); Dr. Rasha Chatta (Syrian scholar, expert on visual cultures and narratives of migration in the Middle East); and Dr. Martin Gussone (German Architect and historian, expert in Syrian urban heritage).


  • First prize: 400 euros
  • Second prize: 300 euros
  • Third prize: 200 euros

In addition to three honorary prizes, each for 100 euros.


All submissions will be curated in an exhibition/publication that will be announced later.

This competition is part of the project Untold Stories/Forgotten Maps.


Registration for this competition has been closed. Please stay tuned for more information regarding submission. Thanks!


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