The Syrian revolution is presented very aesthetically pleasing in the information field – infographics, posters, cartoons and other artistic means are widely used. Creative people join the process of renewal of the country, and use their skills for the overall good.
Akram Abu Al-Fawz not only told us about the situation in his home town of Duma, which has great significance in the history of the Syrian Revolution (refer to part I – Interviews with an artist. Surrounded the city of Duma – the Syrian ‘besieged Leningrad’), but also shared how the artist finds inspiration and material for creativity under conditions of war.
You are a creative person. The war does not pass without a trace for anyone, but artists particularly strongly react on what is happening, on the emotions of people. One may be depressed and other one can be inspired by the awful reality. What happens with you?
War leaves its mark on everyone, regardless of human sensitivity, whether you are an artist or not. I survived all the stages of the war: lost my job, house and walked through the cellars of the regime’s security forces. But despite this, I see a close victory. As for the creativity during a war, I can say that in my case it emerged in the key moments of the revolution, amidst the bloody events. But it all helps the creative process in the development of new ideas, which could not occur in peacetime, even if you do not have enough materials and money to purchase them.
There are things that have appeared as a result of war – such as missiles, bombs and shells, that were absent in peacetime, and the idea to use them in the creative process could not have appeared at all.
I know that you create pieces of art from shells, fragments of munitions and other things of that kind. Tell us, how did this idea appear?
An artist gets creative images of the seen objects. Someone has skills in painting, others – in portraits, etc. And the idea about the items left us by war came out of the military situation. We get cartridges and missiles falling from the sky every day.
Once, I got my first object, a howitzer shell, and put it on the shelf for demonstration. And then an idea appeared to transform the shapes of death into the colors of life. After that I started to gather shells and missiles. And I started to paint them making the first album named ‘Pictures on death’.
How do you collect material for your work? How many of these things have you got? Where do you store them?
There is a great shortage of art materials in my city, and those that I use are the remnants of the past, from the times before the revolution, which I stored in a safe place. The blockade severely hindered me in my work, as the materials for the work can be purchased only in Damascus. But the checkpoints on the roads do not let me get to the right place. Other delivery methods are too expensive, thus the process is slowed down.
I have talked to an Ukrainian military expert and shown him a photo of you with a huge shell, which stood in your room. He asked to tell you that you should be very careful with such items, that they can be explosive and still can cause a lot of harm, and a civilian person not always can handle them. The Russian servicemen use outdated ammunition which might not work in combat conditions, but still can explode later. Please tell us about the safety precautions which you follow during the art process.
When the remains of shells and missiles are brought to me, I take them to specialists for treatment of residues of explosives and I clean the shells at home myself.
An alike creative direction appeared in Ukraine too – artists paint projectiles’ cartridge and helmets, engrave them. We also are at war right now, it has much to do with the Syrian one. What do you know about the situation in Ukraine?
I got acquainted with similar art of an Ukrainian artist. I liked it but i do not know much about the war in Ukraine.
This interview will be published on the website of the InformNapalm international volunteer community, which gathers evidence of the Russian regime’s crimes in Ukraine and Syria using OSINT-analysis and studying of the open source information. Your collection is a good material for the community’s investigators, so I’d like to ask you to make pictures of all the cartridges and fragments with markings that you have. We will enrich the article with the expert analysis.
There are several photos for the interview.
A lot of people in Ukraine are interested in the situation in Syria now. They sincerely worry about you and rejoice that the Syrian people bravely resist and fight against the criminal regime and occupants. Share with us your dreams about the future of your country.
I have a dream that justice is served in my country, and each man gets his natural right to life, dignity and freedom. Let it be another revolution – a revolution of creativity and technological progress, so that Syria becomes an example and school of resistance, courage, and homeland defense.
Akram provided us with several photos of ammunition which were later analyzed by the InformNapalm experts Dmitry K. and Mikhail Kuznetsov.
Acquaintance with distinctive Syrian artist began with this picture, and then the idea to make an interview appeared. In the photo we see a DM-70 jet engine of the UZP-83 mine clearing extended charge.
The next photo shows DM-70 jet engine for UR-83P or UR-77 mine clearance system.
So, contrary to the claims of the Russian military that the Russian Federation’s air forces do not use cluster and thermobaric munitions and do not bomb the civilian population, there is no need to search for evidence any longer – every day they fall on heads of civilians and kill them in the besieged city of Duma. Any resident of the city can demonstrate the remnants of these munitions. We hope that the given information will interest the UN Security Council and the International Committee of the Red Cross as the initiators of the signing of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilians in Time of War, which is mandatory for the execution not only for signatory countries, but all other countries, involved in military conflicts.