Painting:Two starving lions in Taiz Zoo and children trying to survive a war planes bombs.Ex Voto.

Yemen .

In Zoe Cameron Blog by Zoe Cameron

The tragedy of this civil war in Yemen has been going on for so long with its people trapped in a war from which they cannot escape . They endure a fight to stay alive every day with severe malnutrition , mental and physical damage biting at their heels. I made this painting in 2016 because my thoughts were with the civilians… women and children , animals and it seems in 2023 little has changed.

From what I have read over the years, Arab countries have been doing air strikes, lead by Saudi Arabia since 2015. In 2014, the Houthis drove out the government when they seized Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. The next spring a Saudi-led coalition intervened, backed by the UK and the US. Uk Typhoons from BAE systems have played their part , bought from us by Saudi Arabia and used in this conflict . But in 2023 Houthis remain entrenched in their objectives , so the stalemate and misery continues .

Painting: Yemen. Two starving lions in Taiz Zoo and children trying to survive as war planes bomb . Ex Votive.
June 2016. Yemen/Taiz Zoo. Civilians and animals suffer and die trapped in the war. Oil on board. 8 x 10″. From the series ‘One Hundred painted Vows’. Ex Voto.

I listened this morning to the experience of a doctor who works there and tries to help, he said at least four children a day are shot or blown up and injured there. And he said something which will stay with me forever , “Can you believe someone would have a child in the sights of their gun and squeeze that trigger”?

From the stories coming out now about the little children who are married off because their parents cant feed them, or who have lost limbs , are traumatised and who’s lives and minds are changed forever. We witness the truth for ourselves , another stark reminder, if one were needed, of the depths to which a tyrant and followers will enforce their authority founded on self righteous beliefs .

Many of the themes in my paintings come from being deeply moved by stories I have heard or experiences I have had. It is a way to mark or honour people and events, painted proof if you like , which means that this story for me hasn’t been overlooked or forgotten , it matters .