The Syrian War has been going on for six years now and with series of attacks and counter-attacks, it is only the common people who have been on the receiving it. As global leaders argue about their stand and strategies, millions have been displaced and forced to flee their homeland and killed. Sadly, the figure of displacement is highest since World War II, and yet, there are very little being done to help the people in distress.
While European nations debate allowing more refugees in the countries, several world superpowers have denied them entry. Amid all dismay and pain, artists around the world have come together to fight for their rights through art. And one such artist’s work has gone viral. Syrian painter Abdalla Al Omari reimagined global leaders as vulnerable refugees and it has taken the Internet by storm. From US President Donald Trump to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Al Omari has tried to alienate them from the position of power, and the results are startling.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Al Omari said, “My aim somehow shifted from an expression of anger to a more vivid desire of disarming these figures, (to) picture them outside their positions of power.”
Abdalla Al Omari project, called “The Vulnerability Series” is poignant and unabashed. His works are currently displayed at the solo exhibition in Dubai at Ayyam Gallery. Works include portraits that show Trump as an unkempt refugee with a sleeping child in his arms, Russian President Vladimir Putin as a beggar, as well as former British Prime Minister David Cameron and of course Syrian President Assad.
Al Omari a former resident of Damascus fled home in 2012 and currently resides in Brussels after he was granted an asylum by Belgium. He has spent 19 months reimagining the world leaders and his works have also been showcased at Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris in France and Cultuurcentrum Strombeek, Belgium.
From deadly chemical attacks to bombardments, the war has had many fatalities and most of them were children. Artists often used powerful images of young kids to highlight their plight. But this is the first time someone swapped places of the powerful with that of the powerless, the vulnerable and it’s astounding.