Beauty’s Bagel Shop is pleased to feature the artwork of Inside Outside Project.
The goal of this project is to find an unusual and compelling way to connect you with the Syrian children who need your help. Images of refugees in the media generally don’t help us make the emotional connections to these distant and foreign people that lead to action. We know there is a problem because, despite the media coverage of the Syrian war, humanitarian aid organizations still don’t have the resources they need to help the refugees.
This project seeks to break through the filters of distance and otherness by presenting Syrian children as dignified individuals while sharing their inner turmoil in a way that any parent can immediately understand.
To do this, we visited four Syrian schools (and a tea garden) where we photographed hundreds of portraits of Syrian children. We used a formal portrait style to remove the sense of the difference, to emphasize the shared humanity of the subjects.
We also organized art classes and art therapy sessions, and we photographed the children’s drawings from these events. Children’s drawings have a universal appeal, and even when influenced by place, language, or politics, they retain a raw human essence. They are immediate in the way a photograph is immediate, which is why pairing them is so effective and powerful.
The Syrian war has created the largest refugee crisis in a generation, yet the world has not provided for these people, and many Syrians, mostly children, still need the basics: shelter, education, food, and security.
We hope this project will raise awareness of the Syrian refugee crisis. We hope to bring more art to more children, because we learned from this project that for these kids, who often feel powerless and controlled, self-expression is necessary for mental health. Art becomes a necessity, not a luxury.
Of course, we also hope you will support humanitarian organizations and ask your politicians to help the refugees.
Simply offering your attention is a way to help, too. People in serious trouble, especially war refugees, need to feel that their troubles are worthy the attention of outsiders. An easy way to contribute is to ask a child to draw and send a picture to the project.
However you choose to act, we would like you to be a part of it.
We are featuring artwork by a local artists and we’ll continue to do so on a regular basis. Come check out their work and grab a bite to eat while you’re at it.