We know that portraying war and suffering through pictures impacts the viewers, but here’s an artist who, moved by the death of more than 350,000 people and the accompanying devastation in the Syrian war, has made his pics more impactful. His ingenious way is to show the contrast between war and peace in the same photo frame.
This artist is Uğur Gallenkuş, a resident of Turkey, a country in the immediate neighborhood of Syria. He has taken upon himself to raise awareness of the devastation caused by the Syrian conflict. He does so by creating a digital collage series that impactfully showcase, side by side in the same photo frame, the stark contrast between people suffering the destructive chaos and those enjoying a peaceful life.
For example, in one of the photos, Gallenkuş depicts an actor raising his Oscar statuette in victory in one half of the photo, while in the other half he shows a warmonger with an automatic rifle also raised in victory…both celebrate victory in contrasting ways.
However, it is the images of children, drastically affected by war, contrasted with children in happier circumstances in the same photo, that are most moving. Sample this, in one photo, one half depicts a little girl dressed as Wonder Woman, while the other half shows an impoverished girl of the same age in blood and bandages.
Says Gallenkuş about this visual art, “Previously, we’d know about the problems through journalism. Now, thanks to social media and the visual media, we can communicate it very quickly and effectively.” That people are sitting up and taking notice of his works is evident from his Instagram page that has over 260,000 followers and counting.