PEACE IN EXILE
Spending years creating storytelling fashion imagery, Anrike Piel used her expertise on developing a program for young female refugees, that offers psychosocial support by activating them and teaching empowerment through creative expression.
Throughout the workshops, the young women are taught the basics of everything necessary for creating storytelling images and videos - from learning about unique artists, establishing own concepts, creating vision boards, renewing second-hand clothing, practicing makeup, to final execution - either starring in their own idea or acting as stylists or makeup artists.
''I guess all of us, women refugees, have hidden fears and unresolved situations. When we have to escape from our homes to survive and save our lives and freedoms, we face a lot of stress on the way. Art, particularly sewing, I found to be a good opportunity to express myself. I felt safe, I felt like I can do whatever I want. It's just a project, just a game, so I went deep into my dreams and emotions to make my fantasy become reality. It shows me how beautiful and creative I can be. Now I'm much more relaxed. I discovered a new hobby and unlimited source for having fun and enjoying the life despite conditions around!’’
Currently in production: Peace in Exile the book. Young women refugees articulating their personal experiences from the beginning of the first bombing to the journey of finding smugglers to help them cross mountains and seas to find safety. Against all odds, the stories radiant of hope and faith in a better future. Creative photographs portray the resilience of survivors, redefining the word ‘refugee’.
Lasting Expressions a short documentary by Carmen Kremm
Ritsona refugee camp, Greece
''In the village of Ritsona, 50 miles north of Athens, razor wire dissects vineyards on a hillside. Inside the perimeter, crumbling concrete buildings and open fields, long abandoned by the Greek military, are now home to 1000 refugees.
Ritsona is one of dozens of camps administered by the Greek government and aid agencies throughout the country. Refugees and migrants used to spend just a few days in the camps before traveling elsewhere in Europe, but in March 2016, the European Union put an end to that. All those who arrive in Greece are now indefinitely contained or sent back to Turkey.
Conditions in the camps are unpleasant at best. Families are packed into tiny rooms; only a fraction of the children are being admitted into government schools, where classes are conducted exclusively in Greek; and the eagerness of volunteers to help is waning.'' - Ashley Gilbertson
Shatila camp, Lebanon
The heaving refugee camp called Shatila was originally built for 3,000 Palestinian’s in 1949, but is currently home for about 40,000 refugees, with more trickling in every day.
Electricity is intermittent at best, the salty water that runs through the pipes is not useable, parents struggle, having a lack of work, or if lucky enough to have work, only earn the lowest of wages. Parents are forced to send their children to work instead of to school, to play and laugh with friends. These children are in risk of becoming a ‘lost generation’.
The high number of refugee children out of school is an immediate crisis. Education is a fundamental right and crucial to protecting children in situations of displacement, which can last an entire childhood. It is in the interest of all of us to avoid a situation in which a whole generation of children are denied an education and left less able to coexist with the world.