Anti-american Sentiment or a Message of Optimism – What Did the Artist Have in Mind?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Reading Time: 2 minutes


In late October 2022, a number of Georgian Facebook accounts shared (1, 2, 3, 4) an image by the Syrian artist Tamman Azzam reconstructing the Statue of Liberty from the rubble of a destroyed building in Syria. According to the authors of these posts, the artwork is the artist’s message to America that “This is what your freedom made.” The posts all link to the artist’s official website, giving their claims credibility.

These posts are all missing context and are misrepresenting the artist’s intention. The artwork was not created with anti-American sentiment in mind, but rather to provide a symbol of hope and optimism during the Syrian War.

According to a 2016 interview with Tamman Azzam, the original creator of the artwork, the photo collage was originally produced in 2012. “The piece at the time was carrying a message of optimism despite all of the destruction in Syria,” he said “but that was a long time ago.” The artist stated that the Statue of Liberty in New York does not represent US politics.

According to Azzam, pro-Assad and regime loyalists co-opted the image in 2016, sharing it with the claims it was “from a Syrian artist to America, using his own destroyed home in Aleppo.” These claims went viral across social media that year (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), and again on Russian language Facebook accounts in 2017 and 2018 (1, 2, 3, 4). 

Pro-Kremlin outlets have long been attempting to portray the United States as the force provoking violence and terrorism in the Syrian conflict. They claim the United States provoked a coup, interfering in the domestic affairs of another country, while placing themselves as the defenders against terrorism supporting the “legitimate” leader, Bashar al-Assad. 

For more information see:

Alexandra Kuenning

Erasmus CEERES Master’s student, Intern at Myth Detector

The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.

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Topic: Politics
Violation: Misleading
Country: armenia, USA

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