Art And Culture

Artist Captures War as Seen by Children

Artist Captures War as Seen by ChildrenArtist Captures War as Seen by Children

US photographer Brian McCarty wants people to see horrors of war, but through the eyes of children.

McCarty’s most recent work was set in Mosul where thousands of civilians were caught up in the fight to oust the terrorist group IS.

He uses art-therapy drawings and interviews with children to depict their accounts using toys.

The children draw the horror, the loss, and the harm they suffered. Often, their accounts are presented with symbols which McCarty then recreates with toys. A bird from a video game represents bombs falling from the sky. An elephant symbolizes a lost sibling. The result is a mix of the realistic and the absurd, with a hint of pop culture, Reuters reported.

McCarty, 43, describes it as “reality with a dose of sugar” in an interview in Beirut.

A boy, taking part in one session near Mosul in May, drew an adult elephant with two calves. While he colored in the parent and one of the calves, he refused to color in the second which he said represented his dead sibling.

In his recreation, McCarty placed a toy elephant in a pool of dirty water standing behind a calf. He then superimposed a faded image of the second calf to represent the dead sibling.

A recurring image in the children’s drawings is the yellow “Angry Bird”, a deadly character in a popular video game. For the children, it came to represent bombs.

A girl who witnessed the IS militants stone a woman to death depicted the scene by drawing the shape of a woman only to bury her with circles until she was barely visible.

McCarty depicted that with a doll dressed in a headscarf and robe being pelted with stones. A shadow of a man in the foreground represents her executioner.

McCarty said the process of visualizing the drawings takes days. Once he has chosen an image and found the toys to recreate it, his work on the ground has sometimes put him in danger

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