What do you do when ISIS hijacks your art?

Brian McCarty, the photographer behind the series War Toys, on learning that ISIS co-opted his images of children's toys in the rubble of conflict.
Photographer Brian McCarty recently learned that his artwork had been co-opted by ISIS. Of all the photos they could have chosen, he says this one was particularly painful. (Brian McCarty/ISIS)

In a head-turning art project called War Toys, Brian McCarty explores what it's like to be a child living, and playing, in a war zone. His photographs feature burning toy buses, dollhouses surrounded by missiles, and plastic soldiers taking aim. They're based on his experiences with children in Israel, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories.

As his provocative work spread across the web, the artist soon discovered an alarming infringement: ISIS has been using his art as propaganda. Today McCarty joins Shad to talk about what happens when your work is co-opted, and what it says about the battle for meaning. 

WEB EXTRA | View some of Brian McCarty's War Toys photographs, posted with permission from the artist, below. You can see the full collection on his website


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