I had never heard of this kind of illustration until I came across it in Juan Cole’s blog Informed Comment. As Cole explains, there is a new trend called Smoke Art Photography: “[a] Palestinian blogger from Gaza, Refaat Alareer has been collecting digital altercations of photos of Israeli airstrikes exploding over their communities. Within the clouds of smoke and debris, are various pictures. Some contain nationalist Palestinian symbols, others simple drawings of faces. These faces range from having solemn expressions to those that are crying over the destruction below them.
These photos have been shared widely on social media and are windows into the dreams and imagination of Palestinian youth living under constant siege. Many of these works are anonymous. These images remind us of how we looked up at the clouds as children to see shapes of animals, dragons, people, faces — anything one’s imagination could conjure. It’s also a grim reminder that under this destructive black cloud there are people who are affected by this persistent violence. It’s almost as if these faces are looking at Gaza, surveying the damage and mourning over what had happened.”
Here are some examples, taken from wattan tv news.