A Collective Work of Lebanese and Syrian Refugee Children Artists
Two nationalities, Lebanese and Syrian, speaking with one voice in one of Beiruts’ iconic landmarks, echoing memories of war across time and geography. 39 poems and stories written by Syrian children in different informal tented settlements in Lebanon, interpreted by 47 Lebanese and Syrian artists. UNICEF Lebanon together with BEYOND Association and Yelostudio, worked together on this project to interpret narratives of Syrian refugee children through art. The result is what you are about to see; expressions of displacement, loss, fear, struggle, trauma, hope, future, and past. The Arabic word Haneen captures everything the children would have liked to tell us face to face. Haneen means longing, yearning for something you’ve lost, a tender feeling. In this context, it is the nostalgic longing of a long-lost home, of a world that is no more. That is their reality.
Thirty-nine artworks curated by Chadi Aoun echo the voices of Syrian children living in the shadow of conflict, tragedy and displacement. The artists, also from a generation of war, were asked to visualize the wisdom and weight of the words of the children that are rarely seen or heard.
“It is the role of UNICEF to multiply the strength of these voices, echo them, speak out on children’s behalf and capture the audience. The war raging on the other side of the border is close, yet so distant. Distant because we can’t take in the stories of suffering anymore, close because suffering is universal”