Banksy releases image for Syrian civil war as it nears third anniversary of bloodshed.
Is with Sirya, and you?
BY MICHAEL WALSH / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
The graffiti artist tweaks his famous work of a girl releasing a red balloon as a symbol of protest and hope. Across the world, people will let red balloons fly in solemn commemoration of the conflict that began March 15, 2011.
The new image of a Syrian refugee girl wearing a head scarf is meant to raise awareness fo the brutal three-year-long civil war.
Three. Long. Years.
And the world stands by…
Elusive artist Banksy has revisited one of his most renowned works — a stencil of a girl releasing a red heart-shaped balloon — to mark the third anniversary of March, 15, 2011, the start of the ongoing Syrian civil war.
The reimagined image on his website shows a little Syrian refugee wearing a traditional head scarf to call attention to what has been called the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century.
Nearly half the Syria’s population has fled its homes in fear and well over 100,000 people have been killed.
Vigils will be held in 30 countries across the globe ahead of the anniversary, ideally at sunset on Thursday. Participants are encouraged to bring candles and red balloons illuminated by LED lights. Then, red helium-filled balloons, with messages of solidarity attached, will be released in a recreation the street artist’s work.
These actions are intended to raise awareness for an international project called #WithSyria.
The project does not promote either side of the bloody conflict. Instead it calls upon like-minded people from across the globe to stand with the millions of men, women and children who struggle every day to survive.
“The protests that followed their detention,” the statement reads, “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.”
British actor Idris Elba narrated a short, poignant video — featuring Banky’s artwork — to support #WithSyria.
It highlights the heartbreaking fact that 95% of Syria’s population is not combatants, but everyday people caught in the crosshairs of political turmoil.
Banksy’s original image was first seen in London in 2002.