InZone presenting the workshop series on Palmyra’s heritage in Zurich and Dubai

The workshop series on Palmyra’s heritage, designed by InZone and the University of Lausanne to be offered in Azraq in 2021, was at the centre of two prestigious events: “Deep Fakes: Art and Its Double” at the Swiss National Museum in Zurich and “Memory and Memories of Palmyra” at the Swiss Pavilion at Expo 2022 in Dubai.

Balshamin).jpg “Deep Fakes: Art and Its Double” was held at the Swiss National Museum on 9 March. The event was inspired by the homonymous exhibition at the EPFL Pavilions in Lausanne, which poses crucial questions about the potency of digital replicas to absorb audiences in enduring emotional encounters with universal art treasures. Centre stage was given to the Temple of Baalshamin in Syria, destroyed by the Islamic State in 2015. In the 1950s Swiss archaeologist Paul Collart lead a major archeological expedition to Palmyra, photographing the temple in detail. His work, digitised by the Collart-Palmyre project experts, served as the basis to create a 3D reconstruction of it. The InZone-UNIL workshop series, designed for Azraq residents, focused on the ancient city’s history and the extraordinary journey leading to its virtual reconstruction.

During the event, experts dwelt on the meaning of virtual and real reconstructions and their significance for the people of Syria. Video testimonials by young Azraq residents who benefited from the “Zoom around Palmyra” digital art workshop, created by IULM University in the context of the Collart-Palmyre project, involved the audience in a vibrant discussion on the value of higher education in preserving collective memory. 

 “Memory and Memories of Palmyra” was the closing event at the Swiss Pavilion at Expo 2022 in Dubai. InZone’s Geneva and Azraq teams featured as speakers presenting the 4th edition of an Arabic Booklet on Palmyra, published in the context of the Collars-Palmyre project. The booklet explores a social programme benefiting displaced Syrian communities, including Azraq residents. It explores the multicultural aspects of the ancient city on the Silk Road, including a special section with the results of the workshops on digital art run by IULM University in collaboration with InZone.


The presentation paved the way to a wider dialogue on the role of heritage and memory for educational purposes, which involved CARE, InZone’s key partner on the ground, ICRC and ICCROM.

 The live event can be viewed here.


 InZone and the University of Lausanne will continue to work together in 2022 to offer a series of webinars on Palmyra’s archeological past, its history and significance for the people of Syria. The objective is to encourage contemporary displaced generations to explore their cultural roots and imagine ways to preserve them, regardless of their current geographical location.    

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