“Syrians have had enough of photos showing a depressing reality. We are not the war – we want to think and feel. Art can communicate on more levels, it´s more free, and for me it’s something beautiful. Before the revolution, expressing myself made me feel good, today I see it as a responsibility to communicate, to be a voice.
During the Syrian uprisings, I participated by making illustrations and films, advocating for various social movements, civil rights, and peaceful resistance. It’s not easy to be politically active, but I think that people shouldn’t give up. It will take time, maybe 10 years, but someday, peace will come. Now I focus on the children. My work won´t give results immediately but I hope it will show in time that the children are the future. They will be Syria.”
Diala Brisly, a Syrian illustrator, became famous when her drawing to support women hunger strikers in the prison of Adra went viral online. “People made it their profile picture on Facebook,” she says. “It helped raise awareness of their protest. I care about women and I believe there’s a role for women in the revolution but people don’t talk about it.” Her work has centered around social justice, freedom for the Syrian people, and advocacy for the needs of children.
She began as a cartoonist at the Syrian-based Spacetoon channel in 2001, working with the fledgling cartoon series Dumtum Salimeen. Since then, her career has spanned a variety of mediums and capacities, including animation, conceptual art, painting, comic books, character and layout design. She has worked on 12 short and feature length animation films, and six television shows for channels including BBC and Al Jazeera kids. She is currently working on several projects related to refugee camp sanitation and women’s empowerment. She has initiated several drawing workshops with Syrian children and has painted public murals at children’s centers in Bekaa, Beirut, and Rehanleh, Lebanon, and Istanbul and Gazianteb,Turkey.
Diala’s Facebook page