War has now again become the focus of the media, pervading our world. But, in truth, war has never been far from us: Syria, Yemen, Sudan, all over the world chaos has continued on a daily basis for years but western eyes have often chosen to look away. Amr Fahed’s work, rooted in the turbulence of his worldview, has never ceased to scrutinize this reality. While the war in Syria may be technically over, it is ongoing; past and present inextricably linked. It is for this reason that Fahed works in what he calls the “present continuous”.
Using digital media, Fahed manages to portray the pain engraved into the collective memory, a pain as visible and as permanent as a tattoo. Although his work can be said to be comprehensive in its portrayal of the aftermath of conflict, his focus is often the children, to whom he gives a poignant ethereality, transforming them through the sprouting of wings, into angel-like beings. His concern is that this generation, one who has known nothing but war, are perhaps now broken forever; a generation whose ideas and thoughts will be forged by their experiences of a country in conflict. The eternal question of post-war societies is whether they can forget and start over, or they will be doomed to repeat the past, creating an endless cycle. We have only to look at other countries which have experienced civil war to see that the process is by no means simple nor easy. He admits that his work is painful, but it is not the pain itself that he wanted to convey, but the culpability of those who caused it. Despite the “end of war”, nothing has really changed in Syria; the same actors remain, and life is a struggle for ordinary people. After the War is, in fact, merely another act of an ongoing play of conflict and chaos, one which it seems will continue indefinitely.
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