Street art takes on a poignant significance in the war-ravaged neighborhoods of Syria, by way of Australian artist Luke Cornish, whose spirited stencil depictions provide children with a creative refuge from the horrors of a conflict that seems to have no end in sight. Cornish, who first visited the country in 2016, immediately saw an opportunity to use art as a means for kids to escape, however briefly, from the harsh day-to-day of a region mired in violence.
“I went to a primary school and did some stencil demonstrations,” Cornish told Australia’s The Age. “I then went to another place and we gave them some spray paint to paint on the walls. They had so much fun. I’ve been using art as a tool for them to open up and escape some of the trauma.”
Cornish has since formed the not-for-profit ‘For Syria’s Children’ (FSC), a fundraising endeavor that hopes to provide financial help to Syrian youth impacted by the country’s civil war. At the end of the day, the artist says, “These kids I have been working with…they don’t question if you’re Christian or Muslim.”