Children tend to be affected by either extreme when a shocking or life changing incident occurs. They suffer, and are affected and may become depressed, or accept it and make the most of what they do have and try to get over it all. Either way children tend to still cope with situations in a less serious way in the moment, and in general are more innocent and easily entertained. While reading an article about Syrian children in the Zaatari camp and how they hold jobs and act as it they were adults, they still however smile, play and run around, and in fact play sports and some have even formed teams. Reading about this made me think about the innocence and I wanted to capture this in my work. How they find comfort or some happiness in the simplest of things and since my work has been focusing on emotions and subtle changes in them, also how honest expressions can be in telling our emotions, children in particular do this well; I will be incorporating them into my final piece, however focusing on the more dramatic background representing terror and chaos going on around them despite this.
(This link above is an article from Jordanian newspaper that shows how organisations and volunteers are trying to ensure the children to have a childhood and some distraction whilst staying at the camps, by having drawing and colouring groups and arts and crafts).
When thinking about the theme of the project that was set for us; time, a thought popped up into my head about change. I always seem to gravitate to the idea of change. Growing up in and Arab county, despite being classed British and Greek and going to an international school, has made me accepting of change. See, being in an international school people come and go constantly, and you become somewhat used to and less sensitive to the pain that comes with letting go of someone. Although it is always hard, knowing that that person is still well, healthy, and just moving on with their lives makes it okay and easier to cope with (plus it’s damn great having friends all over the world.)
However, living in the Middle East comes with a big reality of poverty, hardship, loss and especially conflict. Although Jordan (where I was born and raised and where my family still live), is a safe and ‘conflict free’ area in comparison to our sistering countries; issues still arise. Moving to the UK made me realise how different life is here. While watching the news here one day, a story about the Middle East and the Arab Spring was mentioned. Having lived there all my life,I realised that what the news casters were saying was actually far from the truth and extremely misleading. The situation within the surrounding countries of Jordan where conflict was occurring, being Egypt, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine, and not to mention Syria; was getting pretty bad. However there were never any bomb attack threats to Jordan, or any threats of any kind of conflict for that matter. In a way Jordan has always been known as the ‘safe haven’ and peace land between it all. The media had made Jordan to be an extremely dangerous and hostile place to live or even visit, which in tern has had a massive effect on our lives there as a consequence. This made me furious and made me think about the reactions and shock from people here when I told them about what Jordan was really like. This is what made me decide to relate my work to this theme, and I became more and more fascinated by the idea of how peoples perceptions of things can change dramatically over time. Continue reading Time & Change→
I began research into the Arab Spring further. I wanted to look at the way lives were affected and what sort of stories I would tell and what life was actually like there. I wanted my work to show the effects of conflict and the impact it had on lives. I looked into the effects especially on the Syrians, who have been forced into refuge and out of their homes. I was deeply saddened by the way people where treated and dehumanised. Over 40,000 Syrians moved to Jordan and into the Zaatari refugee camp in the last year. The camp has become somewhat of a ghost-like town of its own, with families living there mourning loved ones and silently trying to move on with life, shattered by the chaos back home. The reality of living at the park is one I do not think many know of; children work and are treated as adults and are expected to provide for the family as well as the adults and most families live in UN provided tents. Thousands of lives were sadly lost and many injured. Mothers lost children and mourn them, fathers lost brothers and neighbours. All were affected and still suffer everyday. However one thing i noticed and I was extremely fascinated by through my research (such as videos and articles which I will list and link below) is that children remain innocent. By saying this I don’t mean normal learning process and lack of knowledge, but the honesty and pureness of children. Despite all the chaos and trouble, the sadness and depression, children always find a way to cheer themselves up and make the best out of a situation; no matter how stressful. This was something I really want to research further.
This is a link to a documentary about the problems occurring in Syria and the effects it has on the lives of the people who live there. (WARNING: contains very graphic imagery – viewer discretion is advised!)