RUQAYA AL KINDI -
What is happening to Syria is a tragedy. What its people go through — from trying to survive a war to challenging the seas or well-patrolled borders to get to safety — is something no one ever dreamt of but is a reality that is happening on a daily basis.
To illustrate the suffering that Syrians are experiencing — from the loss of innocence to the grueling struggle to stay alive — Iman al Khatri created a painting that would magnify this pain to the consciousness of the public.
Shared on Twitter several weeks ago, it got people’s attention and has resulted in the artwork to gain viral status.
Iman, through her Twitter account, shared that the artwork was a graduation project which she worked on for three months.
She shared, “it reflects the situation of the refugees in their journey and in their search for a safe country where they can begin their lives again. It reflects the sadness, pain, and tension they feel as they left their homes carrying the essential and only those they can afford.
She shared, “The frame symbolizes the homeland, which has been plagued by wars and crises, ravaged by conflicts, and became a space lacking humanity.”
As one looks at the photo, Iman shared she wanted people to contemplate.
“The question remains, what is the fate waiting for them? Was the decision to leave home, right? Will they find the life they dreamt of outside their country? Or will their dream perish with them as ships crash into the sea?” she narrated.
“The most important question,” she asked, “What is the value of a man without a homeland?”
Iman, however, wanted to correct that the painting shouldn’t only be looked at literally. She said it should not only be seen on a limited view that it’s all about the refugees.
“It has a deeper meaning. If you reflect on it, it also presents to you the kind of problems we face every day.
“Is escaping from the problem the solution? Or is it better to confront it head on?” she rationalised.
“I express my idea using Trompe style, which is an art based on the use of realistic images to create an optical illusion. The image appears in 3D, but the fact is, it’s flat,” she said.
One Omani noted that Iman’s work exposes the very sad reality of our time.
“When humanity becomes the focus of an artist’s paintbrush, the whole world becomes a small ball in his hand. He can twist and turn it and focus on whatever detail he’d like people to see therefore bringing the issue to the consciousness of the public,” the journalist noted.
He also noted that the artwork demonstrates how the artist cries for the young people as they lose their dreams in a backdrop of the rubble of buildings.