© 2019 by Vethan Sautour.

    1990s

    oil and pencil

    90 x 60 cm

    2015

    Disney is considered one of the most influential brands, when it comes to shaping the minds of children. Its characters are worldwide known and more often than not, they attract immediate empathy. Using characters inspired by Disney's Aladdin for this painting carried out the purpose of breaking racist stereotypes and depict the plight of civilians in many Arabic countries at war. The fear of extremism and terrorism has led to the rise of nationalistic movements. It is necessary to remember that the Arab world is not what terrorism has led them to think, it is filled with civilians, who just want to live their lives in peace. 

    More than being a vehicle, Aladdin is also relevant, because it is embedded in history. Based on the eponymous Middle-Eastern tale pertaining to the 1001 Nights, upon its release, it gave rise to a controversy. Created during the First Gulf War, which opposed Iraq and the USA, in many regards, it came across as offensive for an American company to portray the Persian and Arab cultures.

    This dichotomy accurately symbolises the clivage between economic interests, which can lead to the promotion of a culture for financial gain, and political interests, which can lead to competing for ressources. 
    Since the beginning of global trade with the silk roads,  there have always been understandings between countries, even sworn enemies, regarding trade. Monetary gain prevails over political issues, as long as the first outweighs the second. The anonymous soldier with blood on his boot, who perhaps just shot the woman, stands for these political disputes, while the couple stands for the economic interests.