REFUGE IN PAINT is a four year retrospective exploring the imaginations and aspirations of Syrian youth and their communities. The works share the ideas and identities of people painting in refuge. The art invites you to think beyond conventional media and step inside the world as they see it.

The works shown on REFUGE IN PAINT were created as part of an ongoing initiative implemented by AptART (Awareness & Prevention Through Art). The project brings street art inside the confines of refugee camps as well as conflict and post conflict zones with the aim of amplifying voices of displaces people. The exhibition features art from over 3,000 youth and a team of local and international artists, the pieces reflect the shared journey of humanity to coexist.

Artwork by HERAKUT

The ‘Arab Spring’ reached Syria in March 2011 after a group of young boys were arrested for spraying graffiti across the wall of their school. Their arrests were one of the sparks to ignite the Syrian uprising. The uprising has since escalated into a devastating civil war, both redefining and destroying a generation. While government and opposition forces are fueled by international interests viewing for power, half a million people have lost their lives and 10 million have been displaced. More than half of those displaced are children. Although protests have deteriorated into a violent civil war, the voices of the young boys who put the writing on the wall are not forgotten. Their desire for expression still echoes through the streets and refugee camps the Syrian people now call home.

AptART is a group of artists and activists working to give marginalised youth a creative outlet with the aim of amplifying their voices and improving environments in which they live. Participating artists are Herakut (Germany), Kevin Ledo (Canada),  Ernesto Maranje (US), Ruben Sanchez (Spain), Fintan Magee (Australia), Nina Constable (UK), Joel Bergner (US), Suhaib Attar (Jordan), Jonathan Darby (UK), Jumana Hokan (Syria/UK), Bethany Bergoyne (UK), Max Frieder (US), Ali Kiwan (Syria), Samantha Robison (US), Romero Britto (Brazil), Luc Van der Walt (South Africa), Frederic Pinet (France), Alexander Charriol (France), Iran Issa-Khan (Iran), Peter Tunney (USA), Ori Gal (Israel), Ranjana Khan (India).

The exhibition was made possible by generous support from individuals, organizations and companies. All proceeds and donations will go directly to art projects with displaced youth in the Middle East and Greece.

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All Images by AptART – Samantha Robison