It is estimated that more that a quarter of a million people have died, and eleven million are displaced in what is now five years of civil war in Syria with no end in sight. With the well-documented dispossession and death, however, comes creative reinterpretation of the war-torn landscape and the deadly weapons that deliver this destruction. Artist Akram Abu al-Fawz collects remnants of weaponry and transforms them into objects of art, adorning them with arabesque motifs and perhaps re-rendering them in motifs that immobilize their destructive meaning.
His Facebook page, Drawing on Death, showcases a substantial body of work — helmets, spent artillery shells, bomb casings, and hand grenades — that become strangely beautiful while at the same time revealing the deeply disturbing original purpose of the weapons and the devastation they cause. Add to this that each object represents assaults that have occurred and continue to occur around him and his fellow Syrians, and that the artistic reinterpretation of the weapons renders them visually juxtaposed to the very ruins they created.
Learn more about the civil war conflict in Syria from BBC.
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