Locations Syria

Interview with Wendy Pearlman


Wendy Pearlman shows how storytelling became a vehicle for increasing awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Syria after 2011, at a time when everyday people were citing ‘media fatigue’ from an oversaturation of news coverage. Whereas the exhibition From Visionaries to Vloggers (spring 2020) considers the role of the storyteller and the endurance of powerful stories, Wendy’s oral history project elevates the lived experience of contemporary Syrians living through the current civil war over more stereotypical portrayals of refugees found in popular media.


Wendy Pearlman is Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University, and the author of four books. The first, Occupied Voices: Stories of Everyday Life from the Second Intifada (Nation Books, 2003), was a Boston Globe and Washington Post bestseller. The second, Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement (Cambridge University Press, 2011), was named one of Foreign Policy’s best books on the Middle East in 2011. Her third book, We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled: Voices from Syria (Custom House, 2017) is based on interviews that she has conducted from 2012 to the present with more than 400 displaced Syrians in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and the United States.