Visual Culture: Banksy + Idris Elba Collaborate On #WithSyria Campaign
With the imminent 3rd anniversary of the Syrian War upon us this coming Saturday, renegade British visual artist Banksy, actor/activist Idris Elba and other celebrities have taken to address the needless loss of 100, ooo lives and the displacement of millions of Syrian nationals with the #WithSyria campaign. The initiative will host a global social media based vigil for those effected by the war through the use of the hash-tag, as they ask for patrons to rally at any one of the various international landmarks upon which Banksy's iconic "girl with a heart balloon" piece will be projected today and throughout the weekend. The derisive graffiti artist seems to have taken a personal stake in the effects of the war due to the nature of how the initial protests came to be. He explained on his website:
“On the 6 March 2011 in the Syrian town of Daraa, fifteen children were arrested and tortured for painting anti-authoritarian graffiti. he protests that followed their detention led to an outbreak of violence across the country that would see a domestic uprising transform into a civil war displacing 9.3 million people from their homes.”
In a video released for the campaign, we find Banksy's stoic image transformed into a short animation with some words from Elba that convey the volatility of the conflict in Syria and attempts to ensure that this 3rd anniversary is its last. You can watch the Idris Elba narrated campaign video below and for more information on the campaign and a list of monuments that will host vigils head over to With-Syria.org.