Molly Crabapple turns war into art


Award-winning artist and journalist Molly Crabapple is changing how the world views war and resistance movements. Through her ink and splatter style illustrations, Crabapple has covered the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York, the anti-austerity movement in Greece, terrorist hearings on Guantanamo Bay, and worked with Jay-Z for a project around the war on drugs. On “Salon Talks,” Crabapple shared the inspiration behind her latest assignment, co-writing and illustrating “Brothers of the Gun: A Memoir of the Syrian War” with Syrian journalist Marwan Hisham.

Drawings are more powerful than photographs in terms of showing humanity and conveying emotion, Crabapple attests. “I feel like the Syrian War is perhaps the most photographed, documented war in history with the possible exception of course of Palestine. But I feel that with these photos sometimes — all these photos of broken bodies and broken cities — can commove a sort of numbness,” she told Salon’s Rachel Leah. “We really wanted to show people with dignity, with humanity, with nuance, with depth, with interiority.”

Crabapple traces Hisham’s story from pre-war Syria, through the early aughts of the people’s revolution, the ways in which the revolution was co-opted and betrayed, and today’s current state of chaos. Hisham co-authored the book from his hometown in ISIS-occupied Raqqa and collaborated with Crabapple by taking photos, which she then turned into illustrations. Watch the interview above to hear how Crabapple tackled writing about the region for an American audience. Tune in for SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage", daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon, Facebook and Periscope.

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