About Diala Brisly
Born in Kuwait to Syrian parents in 1980, Diala grew up in Damascus and lived there until the war made her decide to flee to France. She began working as a cartoonist at the Syrian-based Spacetoon channel in 2001, where she received her first training and soon thereafter began as a layout artist for the fledgling cartoon series. Since then, her career has spanned a variety of mediums and capacities, including layout design, animation, concept art, painting, comic books, and character design.
Artistic participation in campaigns and political events has been a driving force for Diala. She now focuses more on the education of Syrian children and of refugees in general. In 2014 Diala started her own initiative making murals in the refugee camps to support alternative education centres. She also produces artwork to empower women voices in war and peace.
This collection is called life jacket. I chose to start with ‘It’s a baby girl’, featuring a boat in the middle of the Mediterranean, at the height of the refugee crisis in 2015. when the refugee crisis reached the top in 2015. But my aim with this collection is to ask ‘who else needs a life jacket as it is not only those who are drowning in the middle of the sea who need rescue. The illustration ‘Under shelling’ is about a mother with her son walking through rubble having temporarily survived the shelling, they also need life jackets. ‘Light jacket’ is about a little Syrian girl who escaped death, sells some chocolate on a Beirut street, is for years deprived of education, and she too needs a life jacket. ‘Get me out of here’ is about a young woman who came to Lebanon to seek safety but who instead was kidnapped and forced into prostitution – she also needs a life jacket. ‘Clearly’, we don’t need to be ‘dangerously tossed’ in the middle of the sea to ‘receive’ attention.