Gianluca Costantini
Political Comics

Aleppo is Hell – We Don’t exist

Gianluca Costantini is an Italian artist specialising in graphic journalism and political comics. His unique storytelling has covered issues as wide-ranging and complex as the spread of the Zika virus ot the detention of Ahmed Naji.

In the first series of his illustrations to be published by The New Arab, Costantini draws upon the experiences of the people of Aleppo – where thousands remain under siege by troops loyal to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Sometimes the photos that float across our social media feed are too much to bear. How many more times must we see images like those of Hamza al-Khateeb, Aylan Kurdi or Omran Daqneesh? But with his scribing, synthesising technique, Costantini invites us and allows us, implores and obliges us – to keep looking, to bear witness to the suffering and resilience of those facing the most awful violence and injustices.

Aleppo city has faced regime assaults and rebel counter-attacks. It has lived through countless Russian and Syrian airstrikes. Militant fighters formerly linked to al-Qaeda stalk the streets.

But through all of this, Aleppo’s residents have remained resolute. During a recent brief ceasefire intended to allow them to flee the city, thousands instead held rallies, taking to the streets to denouce such attempts at forced displacement and calling for an end to the daily bombings of their homes, hospitals, markets and schools.

As the bombardment and siege continue, many here feel that their pleas for the world’s help have fallen upon deaf ears – that perhaps they simply have ceased to exist in the hearts and minds of the international community.

Published in:
The New Arab | Amnesty International Italia | Drawing the Times


Political Comics


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