John F. Kennedy once said: “Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.”
When it comes to civil wars, the Syrian conflict has reached complicated levels with many sides fighting in the region, leaving behind the broken hearts of widows, the agony of children, and sorrow of mothers while they attempt to escape death, which surrounds them from all sides.
With all the agony the Syrian war has caused, some artists rose with creativity levels and found that art is their only way of beautifying their rough reality. One such artist is Nezar Ali Badr, a Syrian sculptor who uses Safon rocks, small coloured rocks found near the seaside, to build portraits for the crisis Syrians are suffering from.
In one of his portraits, Badr features a family carrying their belongings or whatever they have left over their heads while escaping the enormity of the war. In another, an elderly man walks with a stick in one hand, his face down watching his footsteps in agony and pain.
Badr, 51, believes sculpture and art is his own way of fighting back and his way of telling the world his people’s story.
“I’ve been a sculptor ever since I was a child, it is my way of delivering my message to humanity,” he said. “We’ve had enough of death, destruction, bloodshed, and pain and we need the world to know that.”
He aims to show his country’s suffering through his art, especially the endurance of refugees.
Even though he has over 20,000 sculptures in his own museum in Syria, Badr refuses to sell any of them for money. He believes they belong to the nation, not to a specific person.
“My message is to distribute love to the nation, this cannot stop at a person or a place,” he said. “I’ve never seen a man die from hunger in my country and there are thousands who die by guns or on their way out as they try to escap.e”
Badr collects the stones from a shore near his residence at Latakia, north-west of Damascus.