A new class of kids at The Berkeley School send some new art to Syrian children in the Bohsin refugee camp in Turkey. We hope to get it there soon! Here it is:
Author: David Gross
Shahira el Bokhary stepped up with translations of the postcards that cannot be delivered! Thank you, Shahira, you’re an angel. If you would like to help, you can enter your translation into the comments of the pictures on this post. I hope you will help!
World Refugee Day
June 20th is World Refugee Day, an effort to raise awareness of the “situation” of refugees* throughout the world. World Refugee Day isn’t well known. In fact, I don’t know anyone outside the community of people who work with refugees who knows about this day. Perhaps that says more about how little governments care about refugees. Most people are…
We asked the children in Beirut to draw good things, their dreams for the future and such, but even so, a few drawings like this one appeared. Some of them have had terrible experiences that are difficult to simply forget. In part, too, they may be accustomed to drawing the war because so many adults ask them…
The work on the archive of drawings has begun. Years ago, I sat with Lorenzo Virguli and a bottle of red wine, and we came up with the idea of an international archive of children’s drawings of war. The archive would be for the public, for scholars, and for anyone who wanted to better understand war. Despite the passage of time, I have not given up on this idea.
That is why I’m working to establish guidelines for scanning the artwork this project creates that would be useful for such an archive.
Please, if you have ideas or want to contribute, let me know.
I found a very complete document, the US national archives document: Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Archival Materials for Electronic Access: Creation of Production Master Files – Raster Images. However, I’m not sure ordinary people will scan and document hundreds of scans of children’s artwork to this level of complexity. So, I’m looking to strip it down — to find the minimum necessary to make this work.
I’ve already discovered exactly why a color calibration strip is so important! The Epson scanning software, when set on automatic (as most people will use it), changed the colors of a drawing dramatically (from purple to red). Anyone who wants to see what colors children use in this context — and researchers do! — will need to see the real colors.
We do need to limit the metadata to something realistic. I figure the basics are:
- unique ID
- first name of artist
- age of artist
- school of artist (if applicable)
- city/country of artist
- if drawing in response to another drawing, ID of that drawing
- medium (gouache, watercolor, pencil, paper, etc.)
- dimensions (width x height)
If anyone has suggestions, I would like to hear them!
Exhibition in Germany
Four portraits from our project were shown at an exhibition for the Conference on the Syrian Refugee Situation at the German Federal Foreign Office and the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The conference took place at the Federal Foreign Office and was attended by representatives of around 40 countries and international organisations. The photos got a great…
The Crisis Grows
The Syrian refugee crisis now includes around four million people who have fled Syria, according to the United Nations. The New York Times has a good summary of what the U.N. is calling “the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era.” Meanwhile, another 6.5 million people are stuck in Syria between al Nusra, ISIS, FSA, and the…
National Geographic Proof
National Geographic Proof, the photography blog of the National Geographic Magazine, featured our work today at http://proof.nationalgeographic.com/2014/08/13/david-gross-captures-artistic-expressions-of-syrian-refugee-children/
Their piece discusses David’s thoughts on creating the work and what it means, with some of the better anecdotes from the trip.
It’s good publicity, too!
Torches of Freedom is in Trouble
The Torches of Freedom school in Kahramanmaraş is in trouble. They don’t have enough money to pay their yearly rent, and the school is threatened with closure! Everything is even harder with the recent anti-refugee riots in the south of Turkey. If you can help out, please contact Mrs. Sanabl Marandi immediately at email@example.com The amount required for this problem…