Media Advisory / September 9, 2022

Families for Freedom receives award for its efforts to mobilize globally for Syria’s disappeared

ⓒFamilies for Freedom/ Dylan Collins/ Geneva/ 2017

Families For Freedom, the women-led movement of Syrian families demanding freedom and justice for the hundreds of thousands of detainees and missing in Syria, will accept the Prix Ars Electronica 2022 award of distinction in the Digital Communities category today.

The award in this category focuses on artistic and social projects that support communities working for social good and foster an open and inclusive civil society. 

The award ceremony will be held on September 9th in Linz, Austria, followed by two days of exhibition and an event where the families will showcase their campaigns from across the world and speak about their experiences and collective actions.

The jury commended Families For Freedom for their “clearly articulated demands” and use of “exemplary ways of advocacy” to pressure policymakers to help put an end to arbitrary detention, torture and forced disappearance in Syria. The jury added that they were “ inspired by the drive of this women-led movement” stating that their “collective action, shared purpose, and unified voice provides ample hope to similar communities in distress.”

The families, many of whom have fled conflict, torture and other abuses in Syria and are living abroad in different locations as refugees, have come together to mobilize for justice and to demand answers about their missing loved ones. They have built a truly global movement with local chapters organizing campaigns across the world, from the UK to France, Germany, to Syria and Lebanon.

Amina Kholani, co-founder of Families For Freedom who will be accepting the award on behalf of the movement said:

“We members of Families for Freedom are honored to receive the Prix Ars Electronica 2022 distinction award in recognition of our effort and struggle to demand freedom and justice for our loved ones who were taken from us by the Syrian regime and other parties in Syria. Despite being spread across the globe, we have joined forces to mobilize people worldwide and successfully campaigned at different international platforms to reveal the fate of the disappeared in Syria. By making our calls together in a single voice we can ensure the demands of  families of the detainees and forcibly disappeared are placed at the forefront and the plight of Syria’s disappeared is not forgotten.”