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Banksy, Elbow and Idris Elba stand together with Syria in a moving video tribute

The campaign video marks the third anniversary of the conflict

Victoria Richards
Thursday 13 March 2014 12:44 GMT
Banksy has recreated one of his most famous artworks for the #WithSyria campaign
Banksy has recreated one of his most famous artworks for the #WithSyria campaign (

An evocative YouTube video featuring Banksy, Idris Elba and alternative rock band Elbow has been released as part of a global vigil to mark the third anniversary of the crisis in Syria.

The charity video tribute, which is just over a minute-and-a-half long, brings one of graffiti artist Banksy's most iconic stencils to life - set against a haunting backdrop of heartbreak and bloodshed.

His girl with a heart balloon artwork, which he has recreated for the #WithSyria campaign, is reworked in the guise of a young Syrian refugee.

She holds on to the balloon as it rises over the civil war-torn country, passing buildings destroyed by bombs and children kneeling next to the bodies of the dead.

As she ascends, she is joined by other children and adults, each holding on to a red balloon. British actor Idirs Elba provides the voiceover, asking those watching to "stand with Syria".

To the stirring sounds of Elbow's recently-released The Take Off and Landing of Everything', he says: "On March 15, 2014, the world will wake up to the third anniversary of the bloody conflict in Syria.

"Will we let the people of Syria lose another year to bloodshed and suffering? Will you stand with Syria?"

It ends by directing viewers to a charity website which features the video and asks its supporters to use the social media hashtag #WithSyria on Twitter and Instagram to show solidarity with those caught up in the conflict.

The campaign will launch in 35 countries as the third anniversary approaches.

Organisers say they hope to amass an "unprecedented popular movement" and are calling on political leaders to sign up to a pledge to do "everything they can" to make this the last anniversary marked by bloodshed.

The campaign video will be backed by the global release of 'With Syria' balloons by children around the world on Thursday, as well as the lighting up of iconic buildings and messages of solidarity from celebrities.

There will also be a vigil in London’s Trafalgar Square from 6pm.

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