The Alchemy of Art in the Midst of War

January 29, 2021

Anisa Abeytia

When Homer described war he spared his audience the gore by torturing the grammar, by pulling apart the line, reshaping it to convey the horror. He moved his audience not with the superlative of violence, but instead, elicited the fevered cadence of battle. Goya voyeuristically evoked the intimacy of violence between the executed and the executioner. While Picasso’s use of line and color conveyed the pointed, raw energy of war.

Violence is no longer a curiosity. A century of conflict euthanized sensitivity and the ability to be moved by images of war and suffering. Our eyes, ravaged by violence seeks a respite, a sanctuary that inspires, creates and envisions peace. As the war in Syria rages, and Eastern Ghouta is pulverized by aerial bombardment and starved by years of blockade, a Syrian artist dares to hope.

Akram Abo Al Foz, an artist who lived under siege in Ghouta, creates inspiration as he transforms the medium destroying his city into a vehicle of hope. His work speaks optimism in a language that transcends speech…

To read the full working paper, download the PDF below: