Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Syrian dissident artist paints war's agony  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 09/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


(MENAFN - AFP) Syrian painter and dissident Youssef Abdelke offers a haunting vision of the war tearing his country apart, in which neither individuals nor symbols are spared from violence.One painting shows a knife hanging over the corpse of a bird, another the empty gaze of the mothers of "martyrs" lost to the fighting, and a third shows a decapitated head. The 30 canvases, etched in the former detainee's minimalist style, are on display in Beirut's Tanit gallery, offering a searing glimpse into a war that has claimed more than 136,000 lives and driven millions from their homes."There is so much destruction and blood... we have to paint the human drama," Abdelke told AFP at the gallery, where his paintings will be displayed until March 8.The war "weighs heavy on the ideas and feelings of every poet, painter and musician," added the white-haired artist in his early 60s.Most of the works are in his trademark black-and-white, and were produced from the start of Syria's March 2011 uprising through 2013, when he was detained for a month for peaceful opposition to President Bashar a-Assad's embattled regime.

Among the most striking paintings are those portraying the mothers of "martyrs."One shows a woman kneeling before a chair, over which a photograph of her dead son is placed. The mother clenches her hands over her mouth, struggling not to cry out in pain.Another painting shows the empty stare of a mother carrying a picture of her dead son, her young daughter facing her with folded hands that convey grim resignation."The Martyr of Douma," a rebel-held area near Damascus that has been under an army siege for months, shows a severed head, its eyes wide open."The Martyr of Homs" is a giant, severed hand drenched in blood.'Our revolution is stronger'"This is what my country has become. Bloodied hands, severed heads, destruction,"says a Damascene woman visiting the exhibition, her eyes welling up with tears.

Amid all the bleakness is an occasional reminder of the hope that ignited the uprising, which began in March 2011 as a series of peaceful protests against the Assad family's four-decade rule.One painting shows a tiny butterfly perched on the edge of a knife, a metaphor for the fragility of the peaceful demonstrations, which gave way to an insurgency and then a civil war after the regime fired on protesters.For Abdelke, "there are no frontiers" when painting war's devastation."When (Spanish artist Francisco) Goya painted the executions of the third of May, he was actually portraying executions that take place in all wars, everywhere in the world," and not just those that took place in the 1808 Spanish rebellion, said Abdelke."The more truthfully you paint, the more you move your viewers."Abdelke's detention in the summer of 2013 sparked outrage among Syria's intellectuals and artists, but he calls it "just a small detail in this terrible tragedy."

The longtime communist had been detained before, in the 1970s, under Assad's father Hafez. He then moved to Paris for 25 years, only to return in 2005.Not all Abdelke's subjects are anonymous.One painting, entitled "Hamza, Layal and the Others" shows Hamza al-Khatib, a child brutally tortured to death by the security forces in Daraa province, cradle of the revolt.Khatib and another child's body, wrapped in a shroud, are covered in flower petals.Another painting shows Bassel Shehadeh, an iconic filmmaker and peaceful activist killed in an army offensive on Homs in 2012.Next to Shehadeh's smiling face are a flower, a camera, an image of Che Guevara, and the words: "Our revolution is stronger."

 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Dec 4 2016 - First Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit Abu Dhabi to Convene the Leaders and Innovators in Finance Shaping the Future of InvestingMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) The Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit will make its Middle Eastern debut in Abu Dhabi this week, convening global financial leaders and investors who are moving markets, ...

 Dec 4 2016 - Farid Chedid Chairman and CEO of Chedid Re named ‘MEA Industry Achiever of the Year’ at the 2016 MEA Risk & Insurance Excellence AwardsMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Beirut, Lebanon, December 4, 2016 : (ME NewsWire) During a special honoring ceremony held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Dubai, the publishers of Global Reinsurance and StrategicRISK ...

 Dec 4 2016 - Saudi, Qatari, UAE, Turkish Joint Statement on Calling to Hold UN General Assembly Formal Plenary Session on Syria 3 United NationsSaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) The statement added that "We have seen in recent weeks, the launching of heavy unleashed military aggression against Aleppo and its neighboring areas with severe ...

 Dec 4 2016 - Saudi- Kingdom succeeds in shrimp farming: Global Magazine saysSaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) Riyadh, 05 Rabi'I, 1438,December 04, 2016, SPA -- Global Aquaculture Advocate magazine confirmed in its latest issue in a report entitled "Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ...

 Dec 4 2016 -  Vietnamese floods kill 13Saudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) Hanoi, Rabi'I 5, 1438, Dec 4, 2016, SPA -- At least 13 people have been reported dead in central Vietnam's most recent spate of floodings, according to dpa. The ...

 Dec 4 2016 - Saudi Ambassador to Egypt: Kingdom Tops World in Supporting Refugees 2 CairoSaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) Ambassador Qattan also said that the Kingdom considered the brotherly Yemeni refugees on its territory as its visitors, and provided more than half a million Yemeni a ...

 Dec 4 2016 - Al Watan Daily Highlights Depth of Fraternal Relations between Qatar and Saudi ArabiaQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha, December 04 (QNA) - Qatari daily (Al Watan) confirmed in its editorial Sunday the depth of the fraternal relations and cooperation between the State of Qatar and ...

 Dec 4 2016 - Nepalese Foreign Minister Meets Qatar's AmbassadorQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Kathmandu, December 04 (QNA) - Foreign Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat has met with HE Qatar's Ambassador to Nepal Yousef ...

 Dec 4 2016 -  South Korea, US Seek Ways to Counter North Korea's Submarine-Launched Ballistic threatQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Seoul, December 04 (QNA) - South Korea and US forces are stepping up efforts to better counter the growing threat from North Korea's submarine-launched ballistic missiles ...

 Dec 4 2016 -  Five Gunmen, Including ISIS Leader, Killed in DagestanQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Moscow, December 04 (QNA) - Five militants, including an ISIS leader, have been killed during a special operation held in a suburb of Makhachkala, the capital of Russia's ...

more...


 





Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Search News
Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help