It has been more than twelve years since Syrians took to the streets in 2011 calling for freedom, justice and dignity. What is the trajectory of the impossible revolution (as al-Haj Saleh named it) and how can we think today in a moment of defeat about the opening and foreclosure of its possibilities? What is the question of the Syrian state in relation to ‘the atrocious’ and its representation? The Syrian intellectual Yassin al-Haj Saleh will be grappling with these questions in his talk at the Middle East Institute at Columbia University on his first visit to the USA. The talk will be followed by a discussion with the Syrian writer & activist Marcel Shehwaro and the associate professor of contemporary Arab Cultures at Duke University Fadi Bardawil.