Syrian Artist Diala Brisly has completed her mural “Rooftops and paper planes” in PRIO’s offices.

“For me, these murals are kind of like a timeline. It’s not just that geographically they belong to different regions. They are linked by these paper planes. These paper planes are carrying messages and connecting everything together, so nothing happens without the other,” she added.

Reflecting on her own experience working in refugee camps, Brisly said: “When people look at this from the outside, they can’t really imagine how, even without war, [living in a refugee camp] is traumatizing. The kinds of rooftop you have has a huge impact on human behavior.”

Brisly began as a cartoonist at the Syrian-based Spacetoon channel in 2001, where she began as a layout artist for the fledgling cartoon series.

Since then, her career has grown to include a variety of media and capacities, including animation, concept art, painting, comic books, and character design.

Through her work, Brisly explores themes about social justice, freedom for the Syrian people, and a desire to give a voice to children, who are among the most voiceless and most vulnerable groups targeted.

In 2014, she launched an initiative to make murals in refugee camps and create alternative education centres between Lebanon and Turkey to encourage children to return to school after many years of absence due to war.

Brisly has now brought her murals to PRIO, reflecting the rich connection between visual storytelling and academic research.