'A Panoptical Home -
Thanks to : Culture centre De Pletterij, (sound recordings) youth centre Flinty's, (host) Elie Shamoun (singing), Menzo Schrik (sound effects) and Nadim Abou Hassan for input and stories.
The Survivors Exhibition by The Hague Peace Projects
Place: Atrium City Hall, Spui 70, Den Haag
Opening: April 15, 16:30
End: May 4
16 visual artists respond to 11 year old Syrian boy’s drawings
The Survivors is an art exhibition organised by The Hague Peace Projects which will take place from April 15 to May 4 in Atrium City Hall Den Haag. The art project will challenge and confront a large and varied public to consider the daily reality of the lives of Syrian refugees. 16 artists get the assignment to react on the drawings of a Syrian boy of 11 years old; Taim Safar. They make their own, new work. It shows that something as simple as a drawing of a child can lead to such a unique and innovative art project.
The drawings are collected by the Syrian artist Bassam Alkhouri, who was the former teacher of Taim back in Damascus. The artists will give their own artistic interpretation on these drawings, all which will be exhibited in April 2016 in the Atrium, The Hague. During this exhibition the public will become aware of Taims’ story and the 16 reactions to it. The project will give new perspectives on the Syrian civil war and the lives of ordinary refugees.
As a way of giving focus to personal aspects in the bigger political picture of the refugees, I combined the things they told me with the images of the traditional arabic dance the ‘Dabke’.
I captured it with my camera when it was performed by Dutch people as well as Syrian people from 'De Koepel'. Everybody danced together. Musicians from 'De Koepel' performed traditional and modern music together with young people, visitors from the local youth centre that played their own music.
By placing these stories and images against the text of Foucault, about the Panopticon architecture of the building 'De Koepel' in Haarlem, where refugees in Haarlem are located now, I show that the Panopticon is still a symbol of discipline, whether it's in another form, whether it is in the ways of the IND* or society’s political power structures.
*Immigration and Naturalization Office
The artists in this project are: Saskia Burggraaf, Eva Murakeozy, Rik Smits, Airco Caravan, Wouter Willebrands, Leonard van de Ven, Albert Zwaan, Malou Cohen, Hanna de Haan, Helen Hintjens, Rutger van der Tas, Jakob de Jonge, Suzanne Somer, Robert Roelink, Alexandra Arshanskaya and Bassam Alkhouri.