Here are two documentaries about powerful projects empowering vulnerable communities unlearning prejudice, grief, anger and pessimism in their own societies. I hope to take elements from these fantastic projects and adopt them into my upcoming project for Syrian refugee children. These spread hope through art and dialogue.
This is about street artists’JR’ who has reversed the process of an artists capturing stories from people and instead empowers communities all over the world to express themselves while engaging their societies on local social issues.
Grief Camp unlocks children’s internal barriers to self expression, acceptance and hope. A piece I hope to adopt from this project is the concept of a ‘memory wall’, where kids post pictures of lost loved ones and write messages or say something about the picture. Everything gets posted on a centralized space. It would be great to adopt this concept for the Syrian refugee kids, who themselves endure immense loss, tragedy and injustice.
I am in talks to implement my arts diplomacy workshops for Syrian refugee children in Jordan. There are today over 1 million child refugees from Syria. It’s pure madness what these kids are forced to endure. The world so far has responded with a lot of talk and no solutions. Many of the young refugees lack spaces for self expression, communication and hope. That is where this project comes in. I have no organization or NGO behind me, but the art diplomacy project is being funded for 40 days thanks to the generous German government and German Mission to the United Nations. I have been meeting with them over the last few weeks and I am happy to say that the German Ambassador signed off on my project. I will be departing in May.
I am motivated, scared and may be a little in over my head, but I know that some of the child refugees will take this project and run far with it and THEY will teach US all of tragedy, hope and resilience. It is intended that the project will leave with the kids new skills in media and communications. It’s not about politics. It’s about empowerment, it’s about hope, it’s about moving mountains in a landscape of despair. More to come on this next phase of my project soon.
While researching #Syria through art, I discovered a powerful sketchbook of Joumana Ismail that tells the story of what people are going through in Syria. If you don’t know how bad it has gotten in Syria, take a look at this Vine video I took of Joumana’s sketches…
#Malala Yousafzai, young activist and champion for education and gender equality, came to the United Nations today. In front of the world, she delivered her speech with sincerity, truth, and inspiration to our world often plagued pessimism and lack of creativity. She spoke on the need to bring an access to education to all children and how the pen and books are weapons that extremists and the Taliban fear. She is right. Education is the pathway to defeating fear, misunderstanding and inequalities such as poverty. Now that this young, sincere soul has spoken, will our societies and world leaders listen? See her powerful speech today here:
Fighting poverty, battling gender inequalities and breaking down barriers to children’s development is possible. In fact, global action and commitments, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are already in place. Hope you can check out these new infographics we worked on at the United Nations and join the conversation using #MDGmomentum and access different language versions at http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/mdgmomentum.shtml
Millennium Development Goals campaign I am working on at United Nations. MDG 4: Child Mortality
Millennium Development Goals campaign I am working on at United Nations. MDG 2: Education
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.