Muzaffar Salman, art meets war
by Laura Luppi
A war scenario can make a strong visual impact and consequently trigger conscious thought processes, but it can also have an aesthetic and therefore artistic impact, if its most poignant and intense moments are captured by the camera of an artist.
If art has always been considered a kind of mirror of the times, if its basic and noblest task is to witness trends, everyday habits and the paradoxes of the time in which it is performed through the subjective interpretation of the author, then the camera capturing the scenes of war in Syria cannot be an exception.
This is obviously possible only if behind the camera there is a creative talent and not only a journalist, if documenting the facts involves not only the need for information but also the urge to interpret without speaking. The urge to communicate feelings through the immediacy of a picture, beyond the actual situation portrayed by the picture. Beyond any political or even only ethical consideration on what is happening on the national and international scene, on the causes and effects of a conflict, from which the world’s balance will probably depend, our intention is to focus on the work by young Syrian photographer and reporter Muzaffar Salman.
Born in 1976, in 2006 Muzaffar starts working in Damascus for Al-Watan newspaper, eventually becoming its director of photography. He feels his first real assignment started on the first day of the Syrian revolution, on March 25th 2011, although his pictures were not published in the Al-Watan newspaper as it was pro-government, they could be seen all over the word thanks to the Associated Press.
The city of Aleppo is the theatre where Muzzafar Salman watches the horrors, fears and paradoxes of war thorough his human eyes, while he captures these painful moments and emotions through his camera, as an artist. And if war takes place on the streets, where art was born and has always expressed itself, hence it can combine with a sort of differently-conceived street art, an art that does not refer to the street only but draws nourishment from the street affected by this tragic event, in order to exist and develop.