Painting tribute to the victims of Yemen’s war

Subay’s mural in the Beni Hawat area [Majd Fuad/Al Jazeera]

In Yemen, Murad Subay’s bold murals commemorate the human cost of war.

Zoe Hu | |, Al Jazeera

Not many street artists welcome an audience. But Yemeni painter Murad Subay, 27, doesn’t like to work in the dark.

His murals – and their bold proclamations of colour – serve as public gathering points, where strangers come to watch Subay paint while offering comments, critiques, and bottles of juice or water.

Whether the murals bear criticism or colourful celebration, they are never done in secret. For Subay, that is exactly the point.

For over four years, the young artist has used five different art campaigns to construct public spaces where people can denounce social ills and express the community’s frustrations.

In his latest campaign, “Ruins”, each mural serves as both art and remembrance; done in tandem with fellow artist Thi Yazen, the project commemorates the civilian deaths of the ongoing violence in Yemen, where the WHO estimates 2,800 have died since March.

While focus may now be on the country’s politics and the recent failure of the Geneva conference, Subay embarked on Ruins in order to call attention to the worsening humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

To do so, he has taken his tools to the most damaged areas in Sanaa, erecting murals amid the destruction of air strikes in order to “paint” tribute to the conflict’s human cost.

For the full interview, click here.