UNICEF Children’s #e-MOTIONS Exhibition Celebrates Inclusive Self-Expression Through Art

31 January 2023
A Ukrainian boy speaks in front of the audience
Mychaylo, from Odessa, Ukraine, speaks in front of the audience at the opening of the art exihibition in Bucharest

BUCHAREST, January 31, 2023 – Paintings, collages and photos created by Romanian and Ukrainian children were displayed in an art exhibition organized by UNICEF on Tuesday to support the inclusion of refugee children in Romania. The initiative followed an invitation to Ukrainian and Romanian children to explore and express the emotions triggered by their personal journeys through art in a series of workshops.

The #e-MOTIONS exhibition was preceded by several inclusive art workshops for refugee and Romanian children organized by UNICEF. The initiative aims to support the inclusion of children war refugees while creating a dedicated space for the expression of thoughts, ideas and feelings of personal journeys lived or witnessed by children in times of physical or emotional displacement and transition.

Through this art exhibition, UNICEF encourages children to be key witnesses, actors, and messengers about the current situation in Ukraine and neighboring countries, about the emergency social setting, and about more structural issues.

More than 70 Ukrainian and Romanian children aged 7 to 18 participated in workshops organized at “Mihai Viteazu” National College, the Uruguay school, the ANAID Association in Bucharest, and the CATTIA Blue Dot Safe Space, Protection and Support Hub in Brașov. These schools and centers are spaces where UNICEF partners - Romanian Angel Appeal Foundation, the “Regina Maria” Foundation for Social Innovation, ANAID Association provide services for Ukrainian children currently living in Romania, with UNICEF’s and its partners’ - Brasov mayoralty, Bucharest mayoralty through DGASMB - support.

The #e-MOTIONS workshops aimed at holding spaces for children to be engaged and supported in the exploration of the emotions triggered by their personal journeys through painting and mixed media collages by art teachers and UNICEF staff. After learning about theories of colour and the links between art and emotions, the children were encouraged to express their emotions on canvas, focusing on the process and on telling their own stories.

Through their works, children who participated in the workshops expressed their feelings of hope and peace. I am sure that despite the difficult situations in the world, our lives go on, and I think that I will be able to find my inner peace no matter where I am”, said Elizaveta, 16 years old, from Kharkiv, Ukraine. “I want to show that we are so small, and yet so strong, in front of this big, big world,” said Catia, 15 years old, from Odessa, Ukraine, about her painting.

UNICEF promotes the right to inclusive education for every child, by fostering environments where children feel safe, where their mental health is nurtured, and where they are engaged in meaningful learning, including through art and social recreational activities. We strive to support all children in accessing essential services and having their needs and rights fulfilled. Ukrainian refugee children in Romania must continue their education and development, and UNICEF has been working day and night since the first days of the crisis so that they can safely learn”, said Anna Riatti, UNICEF Representative in Romania.

In the following weeks, the art works will be displayed in several location in Romania that will be subsequently announced. 

UNICEF continues to work with government, county and local authorities and partner non-governmental organizations to support local services for tailored inclusion of vulnerable populations across the country, particularly in accessing health and education services, as well as supporting transnational cooperation to ensure the development of sustainable capacities that meet the needs of all children in Romania, regardless of the environment they come from.

UNICEF Representative in Romania speaks at the art exhibition
UNICEF Representative in Romania, Anna Riatti, speaks before the audience at the opening of the e-Motions exhibition
People watch art exhibition in Bucharest

Media contacts

Cătălin Pruteanu
Media Officer
UNICEF Romania
Tel: +40 726 107 799


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