Anas Salamah

01 March 2014

Syrian-Palestinian artist Anas Salamah was born in Yarmouk, Damascus, in 1979. He graduated in Interior Design in UNRWA's VTC Center, and studied Sculpture in the Adham Ismail Center for Fine Arts. He also has a degree in Media from the University of Damascus. His eclectic work includes children’s drawings, graphic design and multimedia creations.

With the beginning of the uprisings in the region, and especially since the protests reached Syria, the artist found himself painting with an increasing search for immediacy, moved by the events evolving around him. “I felt that it was my spirit drawing, instead of my hands,” he explained in an interview with Syria Untold.

Resourcing everyday elements such as coffee remnants, his paintings became a sort of documentation of the reality he witnessed. “Every time I made coffee, I would use the remnants to continue working, day by day, until the piece was finished.”

In the words of the artist, Syrian art has reached a point of close identification with death. “I could hear the shelling outside while I worked on a painting. I kept wondering if I would be able to finish it, or if this would be my last.”

Shelling and martyrs made it to Salamah's canvases, as death and destruction spread throughout the country. 

The increasing pressure on Yarmouk deeply affected Salamah, who attempted to break the siege and enter the camp with a group of friends, only to find it completely sealed off by the regime. The humanitarian tragedy caused by the shelling and the starvation imposed on the people of Yarmouk - as well as on other neighborhoods such as Moaddamia - and the inability to act upon it, led him to leave Syria.

Since then, gloom and sadness hang over his paintings, which are mostly black and white. “I left my colors in Syria,” the artist assured.


This work is under a Creative Commons license. Attribution: Non commercial - ShareAlike 4.0. International license

Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad