Erin artwork exhibit goals to alter how folks take into consideration refugees
ERIN – An upcoming occasion right here seeks to alter the narrative across the refugee disaster, whereas providing refugees a pathway to therapeutic and monetary stability.
Artwork created by refugees will probably be featured in For the Love of Artwork, a pop-up exhibit on the Erin United Church on June 7.
About 45 items from refugees of all ages and ranges of expertise will probably be accessible for buy, with proceeds from the artwork gross sales going on to the artists.
Every artwork piece will probably be accompanied by a biography written by the artist, sharing their private story to assist folks perceive refugees’ experiences and hardships.
The artists, whose house international locations embrace Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cameroon, Congo and Sierra Leone, are kids and adults presently dwelling in Greece.
In 2022, nearly 13,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Greece by sea, and greater than 6,000 arrived by land, in response to the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees.
This brings the variety of asylum seekers in Greece to nearly 120,000 and refugees to about 50,000, most of whom are unable to seek out work to help their households financially, states the Worldwide Rescue Committee.
Creating and promoting artwork is a technique a few of these migrants could make ends meet.
For the Love of Artwork is a drop-in occasion that runs on June 7 from 3 to 8pm with quick shows at 4 and 7pm concerning the refugee disaster in Greece.
The shows are led by Kayra Martinez, the founder and director of Love With out Borders, a completely volunteer-run non-profit group that gives housing, artwork provides, and artwork workshops for refugees in Greece.
On the finish of the night there will probably be a reside public sale with a choice of the artwork items. The proceeds from the public sale will go to help Love With out Borders.
Love With out Borders
“Since 2015 we now have most likely helped hundreds of individuals,” Martinez stated, noting Love With out Borders is “a really small group with two of us on the bottom.”
Martinez will speak concerning the present scenario, the struggles refugees in Greece face, and Love With out Borders’ work.
It was not initially Martinez’s plan for artwork to be a core a part of Love With out Borders’ work, however it occurred by “serendipity” after she “took some paper and crayons into the tent” in a refugee camp in 2016, she instructed the Advertiser throughout a telephone interview from Athens.
The artwork program supplies a chance for refugees to depart “the horrible situations” of the refugee camps and provides them the area and provides to create.
“The best way they create and the way in which they use the colors is important,” Martinez stated.
“That’s the place the therapeutic takes place.”
She stated it will be significant that Love With out Borders volunteers don’t affect the artwork the refugees create.
Most of the artists selected to make use of shiny colors, which Martinez believes represents their resilience, hope and power.
The Love With out Borders artwork program empowers refugees to “create a special expertise for themselves,” as they arrive out of such a difficult time of their lives with new abilities as artists, with some in a position to “pay their very own lease with gross sales from their artwork,” she stated.
Love With out Borders has introduced artwork from refugees to 141 occasions in 4 completely different continents.
Refugees in Greece
An essential aspect of their work is rising consciousness concerning the refugee disaster in Greece.
“There are folks shedding their lives on daily basis crossing the Aegean Sea and different our bodies of water,” Martinez stated.
“They’re shedding their lives and there may be not sufficient dialogue, not sufficient details about this.”
She added Love With out Borders goals to convey the problem again into the highlight.
“We wish folks to grasp concerning the plight of the refugees,” she stated, noting they’re engaged on “altering the narrative in order that we are able to perceive these persons are people and everyone seems to be deserving of shelter and a heat place to reside and meals to eat.”
The occasion is hosted by Erin Refugee Motion and the Erin United Church, with help from Martinez, who will probably be touring from Athens with the art work.
Barbara Harrison, a volunteer with Erin Refugee Motion, stated there will probably be a “number of artwork that’s fairly consultant of the people who find themselves concerned” and the completely different international locations they’re from.
Harrison has labored with refugees in Greece and calls the scenario “dire,” noting the Greek authorities supplies “minimal to no help for refugees there, even when they’re given asylum.”
She stated many refugees are homeless and dwelling on the streets in Athens.
Erin Refugee Motion
Erin Refugee Motion fashioned in 2016 to “take motion broadly associated to refugees,” Harrison stated, and the group has since sponsored 15 refugees from 4 Syrian and Afghan households to maneuver to the realm.
These households have been invited to attend the artwork exhibit in Erin.
Erin Refugee Motion host a spread of instructional fundraising occasions protecting matters like intercultural communication and instructing folks how you can write their names in Arabic.
These occasions purpose to “assist folks perceive the obstacles that newcomers to Canada would possibly face,” and to assist locals be “as supportive and welcoming as potential,” Harrison stated.
“The group has been fairly lively in supporting the refugees which have been sponsored,” she famous.
Harrison has recognized Martinez since 2016 and describes her as an “Energizer bunny,” who balances her work as a flight attendant and volunteering with Love With out Borders.
She stated Martinez’s dedication retains rising “stronger and stronger as wants get higher and higher.
“I actually admire her and this group as a result of they actually respect folks and work very ethically.”
She notes Love With out Borders shouldn’t be based mostly on a charitable mannequin, however as a substitute focuses on serving to refugees turn out to be self-sufficient.
“That’s one of many issues that I love a lot about this venture.”