Damascus, Syria has been part of the bourgeoning Middle Eastern art scene since the early 2000’s, when works by Syrian artists began to spread throughout western galleries and institutions. Three years ago, they reached a peak. Then, the uprising against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad broke out. Its rapid, life-threatening evolution has led to the disappearance of many galleries and studios, annihilating rising talents.
We are anguished by the loss of life as a result of a war that has been raging for three years in Syria. Equally, we are dismayed by the insincerity and ineptitude of the “international community” to broker a political resolution to a tragic situation. In response to the chemical weapons attack of August 21st, which took the lives hundreds of Syrians, the people of the United States appear to have finally become aware of the conflict.
The decision to use force, in political contexts, deserves to be held to the highest evidentiary standards. While it is certain that a chemical attack against Syrian civilians occurred on August 21, the authors of the attack have not been definitively (and independently) identified. That is a minor irrelevance, however, to the U.S. and its traditional allies (Britain and France), who reserve the right to threaten and posture in ways contrary to international law.
It was barely over a month ago that newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power gave her first public address as Ambassador. She chose to do so at the Invisible Children Fourth Estate Leadership Summit, speaking to young activists.
Power gave an impassioned address to the young crowd, calling on their new breed of activism.
“...we need your positive moral vision more than ever.
[Shawki Yousef: Organic Corners, 2013, mixed media on canvas, 180x147cm]
“The flesh is at the heart of the world.”–Maurice Merleau-Ponty