A heartbreaking new project by Saint Hoax, a sociopolitical artist whose identity remains unknown, and Plastik Studios aims to draw attention to the Syrian refugee crisis. The awareness campaign, #OnceUponaWar, features Syrian girls who've been displaced by war dressing up as their favorite Disney princesses and sharing their dreams and aspirations with the world.
The Syrian girls will also take over Saint Hoax's Snapchat account for the week "to freely express themselves and tell their own stories without being censored or interviewed." The artist's website explains the campaign's goal:
As a result of the Syrian civil war, 4.6 million Syrians have become refugees. As a Syrian citizen myself and as a human, I felt the need to help. MALAAK, an NGO providing aid and education for Syrian refugees, granted me with the privilege to collaborate with a group of girls who are temporarily residing in a refugee camp in Akkar, Lebanon. “Once Upon a War” is the outcome of my life-altering encounter with these girls.
Most of them never get the chance to play pretend because their reality is over dominating. It is why Plastik Studios and I decided to throw a costume party in the camp. They got to dress up as their favorite Disney princesses and talk about their aspirations.
These girls are real life heroines and I am honored that I got the chance to dream with them. As a celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8), we wanted the girls to document their lives over the next week. We gave them a Snapchat workshop, and they will be taking over my Snapchat account ( Username: SaintHoax ) starting tomorrow to share their stories with the world.
This won't mark the first time Disney princesses have served as Saint Hoax's muse for making vivid social commentary. The artist's recent Happy Never After series featured Disney characters and encouraged domestic abuse victims to report their cases.
You can donate to displaced Syrian refugees here and check out a promotional video for the campaign below.