To kick off the the Talking Peace Festival, FAULT attended the Create Syria exhibition. Presented by International Alert in partnership with House of Vans, the exhibition celebrates 30 years of building peace, from rebuilding trust in Rwanda following the horrors of the genocide, to now helping young people in Syria imagine a future free from violence.
The multimedia installation explores how arts can help build a better future in the wake of crisis. Attendees are encouraged to take the time to pause and give due awareness to audiovisual interpretations and tellings of the hardships people are forced to face day after day. The featured artists have all undertaken projects working with displaced children, young people in refugee camps, and other communities across Lebanon. Their goal is to promote regrowth and creativity, and to, in the words of featured artist and actress Raghad Makhlouf, “help make teenagers dream again”.
Attending the private view were Grammy award-winning singer La Roux and her mother, actress Trudie Goodwin (Sgt June Ackland in The Bill and Georgia Sharma in Emmerdale); activist and former actress Bianca Jagger; comedian and TV presenter Harry Hill (an artist in his spare time); and Invictus star Adjoa Andoh among others.
Together, the artists involved in this exhibition join forces to create a vision for a brighter future in Syria. Create Syria is a poignant exhibition that not only raises awareness to stories of hardship, but more importantly carries out the imperative task of personifying the facts and figures that are constantly being thrown our way. Attendees leave the exhibition with an increased comprehension of Syrian people outside of newscasts, and a positive conviction that creativity and collaboration will always prevail in spite of the current crisis.
The installation is open to the public from 22 September to 2 October 2016 at House of Vans in London.
Words Courtney Farrell