Press Release – Global Citizen, the news and humanitarian agency, partnered with Artolution, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Unicef and UNHCR to produce and premier a new short documentary about Artolution’s work in the Azraq Syrian Refugee Camp at the Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park to a live audience of 60,000 and a virtual audience of 1 million people around the world. Hugh Jackman presented the film as an introduction to Michelle Obama’s speech on the importance of education in emergencies for children globally. The film documents the psycho-social support programming that Artolution provides to Syrian refugee children in Jordan through community-based public art projects, including murals and musical sculptures made from reused trash. It focuses on the story of one refugee girl who paints her narrative into a mural, and ends by focusing on the ramifications of the current US funding cuts to humanitarian aid for the refugee crisis globally.
Over the past year, Artolution co-founders and co-directors Max Frieder and Joel Bergner have partnered with the humanitarian organizations IRC, Unicef and UNHCR to establish sustainable programming led by local Syrian artists and educators. These projects provide creative outlets for youth, forums for discussing important local issues and the beautification of refugee camps, impacting the lives of thousands of displaced Syrians.
Artolution is an international community-based public arts organization that seeks to ignite positive social change through creative, participatory and collaborative art making. The organization has facilitated projects in 30 countries around the world and connects diverse peoples in order to address common social objectives, including a major mural display at the United Nations. Over 400 projects over the past 9 years have brought together children, families, local artists, educators and community groups. Artolution’s main objective is to address critical issues related to armed conflict, trauma and social marginalization by cultivating sustainable global initiatives that promote reconciliation, healing and community dialogue.
“The color of the camp will change from the white to color which represents happiness, after all the tiresome things that we’ve went through.”
– Darren Abdul- Salam Ammar, Artolution participant, Age 15
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