Feeling desperate at the sight of the trauma and attacks on Palestinians, creator and mother Souad Kokash decided to design a filter, with the aim of drawing more attention to the Palestinian occupation that has continued since 1948.
Embedded in the design of the filter is a map of Palestine prior to the occupation, as well as the national flower - a poppy. Here, Talenthouse speaks to Souad Kokark to find out more about why she turned to social media and Augmented Reality effects to highlight the violence perpetrated against Palestinians.
TH: Could you introduce yourself and what you do?
SK: I am Souad Kokash. I am Syrian but I live in the Netherlands, married and mother of two children. In terms of my practice, I am a plastic artist and an interior architect. Right now, I do not work in architecture because I’m busy with my kids and home responsibilities. In addition to my work in plastic art, I am currently very interested in digital art.
TH: What made you choose an AR filter as the medium to highlight what is happening to Palestinians?
SK: Since my childhood, I have been watching what is happening in Palestine, and I have seen many scenes of brutal Israeli attacks on defenseless Palestinians, innocent children and women. After that, I got to know many Palestinian friends who played a role in increasing my awareness of what is going on in Palestine and how much Palestinians inside and outside suffer from this occupation. My husband and children are also Palestinians, so I know the depth of the suffering more. We live in the age of technology, and what is happening today on social media can be like an electronic war. Today's generation likes to use filters a lot. In addition, when someone uses the filter, he does not need to say anything or in any language to let the viewer know that he supports a particular cause.
TH: What is the power in sharing a social justice issue via a filter?
SK: As people like to use them regularly they raise awareness in a different way - the filters that pertain to Palestine are very few and simple, so I decided to take a stand and design a filter for the Palestinian cause! The filter has more than one symbol for the Palestinian cause such as map of Palestine before the occupation, the colors of the flag and the poppies that indicate the martyrs and their blood.
RH: What has the reception to the filter been like? Have you managed to reach a lot of people with it?
SK: Well, I don’t have anything to compare it to as it was the first filter I designed. I watched a video on YouTube on how to make the filter and I tried it and it worked! I did not know that the filter had a great resonance until one of the pages on Instagram directed me to a post of it. Then, there were positive reactions to the filter and many people followed me after that. The purpose of the filter was not fame.. I had one goal and that was to support this cause with the capabilities that I had.
RH: Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
SK: I hope that Palestinian content and content in solidarity with Palestine will receive greater support.