Fares Cachoux

13 April 2015

With striking colors and simple silhouettes, Syrian-French graphic designer Fares Cachoux commemorates the gut-wrenching massacre of al-Houla, which killed 108 people, most of them children, on May 25, 2012. In his artwork, the tall, black figure of Assad, caches a knife behind his back, as he ogles a group of young children. The poster, which found its way to the French curriculum and the French website Le Huffington Post, became the first in a series of posters that convey the struggle of the artist’s homeland.

Born in Homs, Fares Cachoux studied computer engineering in the university of Aleppo, before finishing his master’s and PhD degrees in digital art and visual communication in Paris. He later moved to the United Arab Emirates to teach at university and work in the field of media.

The subtle and symbolic nature of graphic design gave the artist plenty of room to portray the situation in his country without disturbing the viewer. His tri-colored posters try to deliver a strong message with simple elements.

"The state", a poster by Fares Cachoux.
"Houla", a poster by Fares Cachoux.

"The poster should be as clear and flagrant as the events of the uprising," highlights the artist in an interview with al-Quds newspaper, "Here lies the conundrum! You need to summarize these complex events with the minimum number of components, without losing its meaning."

One poster titled Lavrov, depicts the support the Syrian regime has enjoyed from Russia and its foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, symbolized as a bear in the poster. In another, the sacrifices made by Homs, known also as the “capital of the revolution”, are symbolized in a poster of a woman holding the map of Syria on her shoulders.

In an attempt to highlight the bright aspect of the civil movement, Cachoux launched a project to turn revolutionary quotes by Syrian dissident voices into posters. One particular poster, which became viral on social media, was a quote by novelist Fadi Azzam: “The Syrian grapes can become wine for atheists, raisins for Muslims and syrup for everyone”. The poster was also followed by mass protests to stress national unity and condemn sectarianism, in the zenith of the uprising’s influence in April 2012.

Homs, a poster by Fares Cachoux
Homs, a poster by Fares Cachoux

In the same year, the artist directed his first short movie Al Kalb (The Dog in English), that was screened in the Cannes film festival. The film tells the story of two Syrian expatriates who are annoyed by the protest wave that prevented them from returning to their country. "In a blend of shameless egotism and complete disregard for the lives of fallen victims and the plight and misery of Syrians, two frivolous young expatriates stand against the Syrian revolution and the struggle for freedom", the movie description reads.

The artist has also practiced photography, taking portraits of people in Syria and France. He is currently working on his second film, in a ceaseless pursuit to capture the essence of the Syrian revolution via art.


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