Syrian painter uses shell casings as new art medium

Ekrem Abu al-Fevz in Syria’s Rif Damashq province uses spent shell casings to create a novel art form.

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Syrian artist Akram Abu al-Faiz paints rocket capsules, empty shell casings and missiles which he collects for 5 years during Syrian Civil war, at his home in the Douma town of East Ghouta, Damascus, Syria.

An artist in Syria’s war-weary Rif Damashq province is using brightly painted shell casings to send a message of peace and determination.​

Ekrem Abu al-Fevz, a local painter, has used spent shell casings, rockets and mortar shells -- once symbols of death -- to create a new artistic medium.


"Through my work, I want to send a message of peace and revolution to the rest of the world," the Syrian artist says. (AA)

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, al-Fevz said that his native town of Douma had seen numerous ground attacks and air strikes in recent years that have left countless spent munitions -- of all kinds and sizes -- in their wake.


Ekrem Abu al-Fevz says he was never formally taught how to paint. (AA)

"What I'm doing with these shell casings is like rescuing people from the rubble. By painting these casings in bright colours, I'm attempting to dust the death from the bombs that are killing us," he said.

"Through my work, I want to send a message of peace and revolution to the rest of the world," he added.

Inspired by the shell casings he saw scattered on the ground every day, al-Fevz began painting them "to draw attention to the severity of Douma’s humanitarian situation".


The Syrian painter began painting shell casting to draw attention to the severity of the Syrian war. (AA)

He has given some of his work to his friends and neighbours, but has kept most of it in his home, which now serves as a makeshift art exhibition.

Al-Fevz says he has been painting since childhood.

"I was never formally taught to paint; I regard it as a gift from Allah," he said.

He first began painting in charcoal pencil. Before the Syria conflict erupted in 2011, he used to paint on glass in an oriental local style.

"Then the war began," he recalled.

"The bombardments became so intense that one day I decided to collect the shell casings as mementos.

"Then the idea came to me: why don't I ornament them as an artist?" he remembers.

"Soon I found myself adorning them with bright colours."


Al-Fevz said that his native town of Douma had seen numerous ground attacks and airstrikes in recent years that have left countless spent munitions. (AA)

Al-Fevz has shared images of his work on social media, drawing the interest of several admirers. Encouraged by the positive feedback, al-Fevz is now in the process of improving his unique art form.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests -- which had erupted as part of the "Arab Spring" uprisings -- with unexpected ferocity.


Al-Fevz says he has been painting since childhood. (AA)

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed and millions more displaced by the conflict, which pits the regime and its regional allies against several heavily-armed opposition groups.

But this is not the first time a person transformed a war material into something positive. Abu Ali from Syria turns missiles crashed in his neighbourhood into swings to make children smile.

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Source: 
AA