Toy photographer Brian McCarty comes to the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art on Oct. 6 to share insight on his ongoing project, WAR-TOYS. The artist has visited countries like Syria, Iraq, and Israel since 2011, allowing kids to art-direct his photographs of found toys. The scenes emulate the atrocities witnessed by the children and their fears. At times, the backdrops for these photos are the actual sites of the events described. A piece by McCarty appeared on the first issue of Hi-Fructose Magazine.
Lebanon remains at the heart of fierce conflict, which makes toy photographer Brian McCarty’s “War Toys” project an ongoing effort. The project is currently focused on representing the perspectives of Iraqi, Syrian, Kurdish, Palestinian, and Lebanese child refugees as a result of continuous war. Covered here, he has also visited West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israel, Ukraine, Sudan and Colombia. Today, there are over 1 million refugees alone – out of a total population of 4.8 million in Lebanon. Since 2014, McCarty has been working throughout the region to gather various accounts from Lebanese and Syrian children in cooperation with the Kayany Foundation and his team, including art therapist Myra Saad.