This artist portrayed various world leaders to show them how fragile it is to be a refugee.
Can you imagine Donald Trump as one of the 5 million Syrian refugees? Well, the Syrian artist, Abdalla Al Omari, not only portrayed Trump in this situation, but also the main political leaders of the world. His work is an artistic protest against the refugee crisis.
Who is Al Omari?
- Abdalla Al Omari (@_AbdallaOmari_) March 22, 2016
Al Omari fled his country due to the civil war that the government of Bashar al-Asad has maintained for six years in Syria. The balance of this conflict is estimated at around 320-450 thousand dead, half a million injured and more than five million refugees, as was the case with this Syrian artist.
The painter received asylum in Belgium; however, his days as a refugee were by no means easy. Being in a country with a different language, food and customs is very difficult.
Much worse if you go not as a tourist, but as a refugee. Well, you fled your country with the little money you had, without packing your bags and having no idea what your destination would be. Only with the only hope of reaching a country where you will live a little better.
In this context, Al Omari worked for 19 months on the project called “The Vulnerability Series”. This collection of paintings portrays the frustration he experienced leaving his country, his days without food or a roof, the discrimination and desolation of becoming a migrant.
Trump and Other World Leaders Represented as Refugees
The particularity of his paintings shocked the world. Well, in them he portrays important personalities such as Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy, Vladimir Putin, as well as other leaders, as "homeless or displaced civilians."
The paintings reflect the suffering of immigrants who aspire to have a life without gunfire caused by war, without blood spilled everywhere and without losing their loved ones.
“I wanted to imagine how all these powerful leaders would look in our shoes,” says the author.
"The Vulnerability Series" is on display in a gallery in Dubai, and has been a hit on social media, especially in the Arab world.
I leave you a small sample of his work.
Get in the other's shoes
Beyond stripping these politicians of their power, Al Omari's goal was to raise awareness of what it means to become a migrant.
Talking about migration is not just talking about numbers. It is talking about human beings who have had to leave their country in search of a slightly more dignified life.
Either because their country is at war, as in the case of Syria. Or because their rulers do not provide the necessary conditions such as food or education to get ahead, like the migrants in America.
The issue of migration also consists of talking about international policies and treaties; of a conscience and social tolerance. And as a society we cannot be oblivious to this phenomenon.
Those politicians will probably never know what it's like to go hungry or what it means to lose everything.
But we can spread this kind of art to imagine what it would feel like to be in someone else's shoes.
I would like to see Enrique Peña Nieto, our president, as a student from Ayotzinapa or as an indigenous person in a state of misery. Wow that would be shocking to many.
Perhaps only then will Peña Nieto politicians understand. Can you imagine seeing a portrait in this context? What would be your favorite?
Since 2011, more than 400 thousand people have died. For what is this?: 4 Key Moments To Understand The Conflict In Syria