Peace in Exile
Currently in production: In times of circulation of falsehoods young women refugees get a voice to share their truth articulating their personal experiences from the beginning of the first bombing, to explaining 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’.
Peace for Women is a program that empowers and activates women residing in refugee camps, ultimately creating a safe space for them.
A small isobox in Greece or a classroom in the slums of Shatila turned into a makeshift paradise. Flowers hanging from the shelves, room filled with glitter, feathers, makeup, paints and more, Shakira singing in the background. Worries left behind the door, hijabs come off, the room is filled with laughter, girls are dancing and just being silly.
A series of classes are facilitated that focus on exploring the women's own individual inner voices, understanding own tastes and ideas, realising the possibilities they have and learning how to find use of any resource available. They get inspiration by learning about female artists such as Frida Kahlo, Rupi Kaur, Mona Haydar, Roberta Einer, to name a few, then explore different techniques to renewing second hand clothing, using each others faces as canvases to create creative makeups on, practising posing like models, amongst other things, resulting with days of photoshoots when they act as models, each others stylists and makeup artists, together as a team creating beautiful photographs as the final product of the time shared together.
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
Inside the heaving refugee camp called Shatila, where the girls photographed live, - the camp 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.
Without education,there is no civilization. With education, they can rebuild everything. If they become an uneducated generation then Syria is destroyed.
Special thanks to the NGO's that have supported the program -
SB Overseas, Lighthouse Relief
List of designers that generously donated their designes for the workshop - 113 Maison, Aldo Järvsoo, Bruno Grebert, Colmillo de Morsa, Elvana, Erle Nemvalts, Fankadelik, February First, Isa Arfen, Jane Kivistik, Karmen Mänd, Katrin Aasmaa, Ketlin Bachmann, Krete Beljalev, Kätrin Beljalev, Liisa Soolepp, Lilli Jahilo, Rachel Lovelock, Riina Põldroos, Tanel Veenre, Katrin Aasmaa, Mariliis Niine, Natalia Rivera, Sita Murt, Social Fashion Monsters, Taavi Turk, Meik by Arinda