Delta, Canada 6 Portraits - April 2016
Students for Syrian Refugees! A campaign started by Seaquam Secondary's Social Justice 12 and IB Art 11 students. The goals of this project are: to combat negative stigma (e.g. Islamophobia), bring awareness to the events that occurred forcing these children and their families (in most cases) to leave Syria (13.5 million total and counting; 6 million are children), raise money for sustainable living through an art show at the end of the term, and to help give these individuals a voice and platform to be seen. Canada has agreed to sponsor 25,000 refugees; 2,700 of whom are immigrating to the Surrey/Delta area in British Columbia, Canada. Through anonymous portraiture capturing just the eyes of our affiliate volunteers we are using the power of art and photography to transcend cultural barriers, differences, and misrepresentation in hopes of reaching people's inner humanity allowing them to realize that "WE ARE PEOPLE TOO!"
- How was your experience with InsideOut?
I think one of he most magical aspects of the project and campaign was seeing the way it brought my students together. When I first starting teaching Social Justice 12 and IB Art 11 at Seaquam Secondary all of my students kind of had select groups and cliques they would stick to; groups they were most comfortable in. But by the end of the campaign they told me that these divisions had dissolved and students who wouldn't normally engage with one another were hanging out with and learning from each other. It became like a family. You would walk into the classroom and the room was buzzing with passion, excitement and focus. It was really beautiful to see. We successfully bridged the gap between the classroom and the real world which to me is the goal of true education. These amazing students began to see that they have real potential to effect change not only locally but globally. When save the children in camp Za'atari gave us permission to use their photos of refugees to paint, when JR and the inside out team backed our project and when LUSH headquarters in the UK sent us soap for refugees it was like, wait, what? People around the world believe in us? It was magical and this just fueled their focus and empowered the students on another level. When the portraits arrived and we opened to box to preview them some students including myself teared up. Asking ourselves, how did we do this in just two months? The portraits were beautiful and the best part was that they were taken by students.