“In the first week of October 2014 we teamed up with art therapist and social worker Verena Wilkesmann from REFUGIO and photographer Max Kratzer to work on murals inside one of Germany´s biggest homes for asylum seekers, the “Bayernkaserne” in Munich.” See more images after jump.
Children and adults were able to pick up a brush and leave a life sign in color, which created highly emotional moments with grown-men crying and little kids being so carried away by the creative process that they completely forgot about their surrounding. The reason why this workshop project was in the exact right place, was that the asylum home in Munich struggles with the large numbers of refugees. In mid-October numbers reached their peak of 2500 refugees, which caused severe housing problems along with a shortage of staff. The refugees we worked with were mainly from Syria, but also from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Somalia, Nigeria and Kosovo. Their journey to Germany had worn them out and exhausted their resources. Everyone suffers from trauma of war and loss. It is very clear that none of these people came to Germany to “exploit the social system and steal our wealth” which is a common and stupid fear of Germans. It is obvious that these refugees are victims of unspeakable atrocity and they ran for their lives. They are not “lazy bums who want our money” but people like us who need help and understanding, just like we would if we were in their situation. Luckily organizations like REFUGIO have specialized on therapeutical programs for war refugees and traumatized youth. Social workers like our friend Verena Wilkesmann spent their days with the children of these conflicts, lend an ear to their problems and hopes and provide ideas, contacts to translators, lawyers, etc. but on top of their expertise they give out smiles and positive energy. That is so wonderful and so inspiring! Thanks REFUGIO for allowing us to be part of your project!
More info: www.refugio-muenchen.de
Photo by Falk Lehmann and Max Kratzer