Warning: this post contains concept art work of a very high caliber. The five images are so artistically perfect that if you have low self esteem already, you should stop reading this immediately and go draw yourself a hot bath (not like drawing a sexy bathtub but like filling a bath tub up with water in a very non sexual way. Actually on second though i guess you could draw a sexy bath tub if you really want to. If you do, PM it to me as soon as you’re finished). Even if you do have a strong sense of self and are reasonably confident, this post may still have adverse effects on your mental health and stability due to its spectacular quality. Viewer discretion is advised.
This first concept is supposed to be a play on that image of a child moving out of his home town or being taken to their creepy uncles house and them looking back at their friends and relatives with just damn near the most heart breaking face a human could possibly attempt to manifest. the facial expression is a stark contrast to the just married banner just beneath it on the back of the car (yes. that is a car. not a UFO. Although, a bride being abducted by aliens would have been a much more interesting article to portray… Just think of the visual symbolism you could use!!! I better stop. im getting myself too excited). A car covered in ribbon and with the words ‘just married’ on is something we associate with happiness so this creates a conflict in the viewer. also with the way the eye works, people are naturally drawn to human faces first and then to what is around them. The eye is next drawn to words or letters that provide context to what is happening. that is why their eyes will next be drawn to the writing below the child bride. it also communicates the part of the article about child brides being taken far away from family and friends to distance towns were they are kept in almost complete isolation. This concept is not culturally accurate however so i don’t know if it would represent the article very well because the setting is a crucial part of article and its themes.
this next concept is surprisingly not an alien using some sort of futuristic disk shaped weapon to strike down his pitiful human adversary, but instead a symbolic representation about how marriage is imprisoning young girls and isolating them in a perpetual loneliness. We immediately associate the shackle on her wrist with imprisonment, being held against someones will and other negative connotations. as the eye pans left they see that it is connected to a wedding ring and clearly shows that when she puts the ring on his finger he will be forced to be by his side for the rest of her life. If i was to use this concept as my final image i would make the hand clearly that of a young girl and makes the other hand very clearly a wrinkly, scaly old mans hand to shock the viewer and compel them to want to read the article and find out more. The third concept is a play on the second concept where the ring is connected to a key that she is handing the the man. i think this is visually interesting because viewer will wonder why if she has the key, is she handing it to someone else instead of releasing herself? This may make them think deeper about what it means and when paired with the title of the article, ‘I married for protection’ we get an idea that the girl must be in that cage for her own protection and the only person that could release her is her husband who is clearly outside of the cage. The only way that the husband could release her from the cage is to later take his wedding ring/key…. oh wait i got it! its a KEY-RING. Bam. Feeling fab. But i digress, the ring could never come off his finger in this symbolic portrayal because divorce rates are almost no existent in Syria and many other middle eastern countries. This means that she is trapped and isolated in her cage for her own protection for the rest of her life (except of course if she gets abducted by aliens).
The fourth image is a pretty clear symmetry that depicts a girl in her wedding dress curled up in the fetal position looking miserable from birds eye view. around her is a large wedding ring that keeps everyone else away from her. thus showing how child marriages in Syria both protect and isolate girls from all others. I also thought about possibly adding the husband their too but i didn’t want to over complicate the image. However, a down side with this image is that their are no visual clues that the subject is a child which is very crucial to the image. I think it would be hard to see visually from the birds eye view angle.
The final concept is most likely the one i am going to go with because i feel it best represents the article. the aggressive, faceless hands trying to grab at the child are pushing her closer to her groom. i though of making the groom’s head cut out of the shot not only to show how much taller and older he is than the girl but t also help to make the girl the only face the viewer can see so that they can relate to her and her alone. I want to try and make the look of fear very clear on the girls face. I also want to make the wedding arch out of broken and rusty military equipment and rubble. i think this would help to represent the setting of the article well and stand as a symbol for the state of the culture by way of reflecting the setting. Just as their homes and cities have been cracked and crumbled by the war, so too have their lives, and their culture. I want to try and make it seem that the arch could fall at any time and would therefore crush and/or damage everyone in the image to show the urgency f the situation and also convey the idea that if something isn’t done soon to stop this cultural trend, everyone will be negatively effected.
Well I guess thanks for reading this, comment if you wanna, and most importantly of all, watch out for UFOs. Sankq.
How my image will communicate the article:
My article stands to shed light on the growing societal issue of child marriages in Syria. The viewpoint of the article is that this trend is not only extremely harmful for the individual girls affected but to the society as a whole. It presents the idea that the ubiquitous poverty within the large populations currently living in refugee camps is driving the child marriage incline. To attempt to communicate that poverty is a large contributing factor within this issue, I plan to incorporate it visually into the subject of my image. One way to do this would be to show the subject in an over-sized and worn wedding gown. this would not only provide some powerful visual symbolism of girls being forced into a false exterior of womanhood, but it is also factually accurate as in poorer community groups they will often share wedding dresses. By clearly showing just how worn down the dress is, the viewer will both be able to empathize with the individual whilst also contemplating how many other young girls must have also worn that very dress.
Another large portion of the article was dedicated to the loneliness and isolation experienced by these young girls, who are often forced to move to far away villages and refugee camps. This reoccurring story is exemplified in the article by a girl named Zeinab – just 14 years old. Just as this article attempts to give these oppressed girls a singular face and voice, so too will I try to incorporate just a single lone girl. this is because I think it is much easier for people to empathize with just a single individual rather than such a large group of people.
An additional parameter of this story is that girls are often forced into marriage because their parents fear that they could be sexually abused or raped. An all too regular occurrence in refugee camps has made many view marriage as a way of protecting their daughters from such a harmful situation. For my image, I will attempt to get into the mind of a young girl who has been told about what could happen if she does not marry and how that would affect her views on the opposite gender at such a young age. This idea that all men are out to hurt her or rape her must have terrible effects on a girls psyche and this is what i will attempt to portray in my image.
In order to convey the tone of the article visually, I plan to use a muted, washed-out colour palette to help the viewer get a better understanding of the melancholy and hopeless emotional state of the girls. Also, while constructing the image I will keep the key themes of loneliness, poverty, fear and isolation in my mind at all times.
In terms of skin tones for the child bride, I think I will aim to place them in an ambiguous zone that transcends race. this is because the article is after all a call to action and attempts to make its reader recognize this issue not only as a subjective cultural issue that we can have no right to change but instead, a human issue that we must all collectively endeavor to banish because every child should have the right to a childhood.
I chose this article because of the possibility to make use of the heavy visual symbolism associated with the ritual of marriage which is almost identical world wide. The versatility and diversity of symbols also gives me the freedom to present the same article visually in a plethora of different styles and ways.
Also, im not a big fan of child brides. Not in Afghanistan, not now, not ever. Its gross. Have a little decency and self pride. Get yourself a real bride. Kids should be painting with their fingers, not putting rings on them. I mean, its not like you guys would really have anything in common either. You two would probably spend most nights fighting over the remote with her wanting to watch frozen again while you’re trying to watch the Red Wedding episode of Game of Thrones. You couldn’t go shopping with her. You’d be browsing through Hallenstiens and she’d be tugging at your leg asking if she can go to Pumpkin Patch and get a new pair of Sunshine PJs. She wont understand your witty cultural references or your saucy political commentary. And you can say goodbye to going on romantic dates with her to theme parks – she wont be tall enough to get on any of the good rides! Do you even have any idea how long a muffin takes to bake in an Easy Bake Oven!? “Hey honey, when’s dinner ready?” you ask. “14.” she replies. Because thats as high as she can count and can’t even specify what the unit its in because she hasn’t learnt minutes or hours at school yet! And guess what else Buster Brown? If you get really drunk at a party but cant afford a taxi, she’s not gonna be able to drive your punk ass home because cant even touch the damn clutch! Not even with her light up sneakers on! Looks like you’re spending an uncomfortable night on the beer, vomit and shit stained carpet of your mates place.
Eventually, when your child wife serves you a dinner consisting of food shaped Play-Doh for one too many nights in a row or when she can’t do the washing because “The sock monsters gonna eat me up if i go in there!” a wave of clarity is going to rush over you. You’ll see the error of your ways and realize you need a divorce immediately. But now the shit gets real Jessia Beil. If you didn’t get her to sign a prenuptial agreement (and no, a traced hand print doesn’t count as her signature) then she gets half of everything you own! Ha! And the best part of all, you know what the kid is gonna do with your hard earned money? What kids do best. Spend it all on lollies at the diary and decorations for her online Moshii Monsters cave. And probably rainbow coloured toe-socks too.
You’ll wish you never married a child and as you sit alone in your empty apartment, wallowing in your own self pity, hours will turn into days, days into months and months into sausages. Because your slowly spiraling into insanity. And as you stand atop the only chair you know own in your baron living room, screaming for the voices to stop as you tighten the rope around your neck, you’ll wish someone had informed you of the danger of child marriage via a university assignment related blog before it ever got to the point where you had to sell a kidney to fuel your meth addiction. And right when the kidney exchange rate was the lowest it has been in 73 years!
Well, for all of you men out there, embarking on your stag nights before marrying a girl that needs your help to count in twos and tie her shoes, consider yourselves warned. Break the cycle. Before that awkward moment where you have to drop your kids and your wife off at the same school.
And also try Tinder. There’s thousands of wife-able woman just waiting for you to swipe right.
This Blog post was sponsored in part by Tinder.
Tinder: “Because superficial judgments are just so much fun!” -Steven Hawkings (2009).