Refugee is not a tribe; it is a word to describe a person that is fleeing. Currently, a majority of the refugees are stuck in camps all across the world. To me, in some sense, the camps seem worse than a prison due to the fact the people are not prosecutors but victims, and they live with the uncertainty of not knowing when they will be sentenced free. All around the camps you see signs written by the refugees stating: “We are not animals” or “UN you are killing us slowly”. The people want a voice, obtain certainty, and live again as normal human beings.
My sister and I have just come back home to Amsterdam from volunteering in Greece (Ritsona Camp) with help of the Swedish organisation “IAMYOU” (www.iamyou.se). Through out our experience there we had been thinking of ways in which to illustrate what we had experienced to the ‘unknown’ in the Netherlands. The people we had met possessed so many ambitions and an extreme amount of talent in various fields. We had been giving them all kinds of workshops in order to fight boredom and expand their field of expertise. Our goal was to give the people a sense of normality in their lives again.
Art has been one of the ways we have attempted to keep everyone busy and enhance creativity. Whether it was giving drawing workshops to younger children or distributing canvases around the camp for the adults- we have seen such great artistic outcomes. Not only this, but, the immense smiles of the people when handing them such a small opportunity was unbelievable. Their gratitude is unreal. This is why we had decided to take some of the art pieces given to us back home in order to create an exhibition and share the talent with the rest of the world. All money raised will be returned to the refugees from Ritsona Refugee Camp.
Creativity is key.
The exhibition will take place the 13th of August at the oh-so-amazing Sarphaat Studio in the Pijp. If you are interested in coming, please send a Facebook message to Rozemarijn Jens and I will send you the deeds. Hope to see you next week!