November 6, 2018

"Whilst the contents of the cubes are biologically identical, one contains the blood of human beings with significantly fewer rights and opportunities than the other. By juxtaposing these two cubes, Quinn draws attention to this hierarchy and questions its legitimacy."

October 14, 2018

"Napuli is resolute in her belief that everybody has the right to live wherever they wish. Her message, and the message of all the Insel 36 residents is clear – “Kein Mensch ist Illegal” (No Man is Illegal)."

September 30, 2018

In this strange anarchic environment, the children are left to roam the deserted streets and abandoned buildings of Allepo, playing amongst the rubble, climbing up broken stairways, exploring bombed out houses, scavenging for toys and other trinkets.

September 27, 2018

Muhi got sick when he was very young. In order to save him, doctors had to cut off his hands and feet - “Why don’t I have any hands?”, Muhi asks Abu Naim at one

September 24, 2018

At the beginning of the film, there is a tunnel. We are travelling through the tunnel, towards the light…

Most of us will have read or heard about the current situation in Lebanon – the fact that there are approximately 1 million registered Syrian refugees currently living in Lebanon, comprising a large 25% of the population. However, statistics aside, what is it like to actually be a Syrian refugee in Lebanon? The film, 'Lost in  Lebanon' sheds light on this question by telling the story of Sheikh Abdo, Reem, Nemr and Mwafak.

When the conflict in Syria started, millions of homes and livelihoods became destroyed. Many Syrians made the difficult decision to leave. Their neighboring country of Lebanon became the natural place to go. Syrians hoped that they could find temporary shelter there, and wait peacefully until the war had ended and they could return to Syria.

One such person was Sheikh Abdo, proud husband and father of one, with another child on the way. He is thrill...

September 24, 2018

An inspiring film from the Berlin Human Rights Film Festival about a strong Syrian mother determined to find a better life for her children, '8 Borders 8 Days' documents the journey of Sham and her two children, Eylan ("Lulu") and Yaman, from Damascus all the way to Berlin.

 (From left) Lulu, Sham and Yaman - image via 8 Borders 8 Days official website

Sham's flight story begins in Beirut, Lebanon, where Sham waits for 16 months in the hopes of being granted a Visa to go to the U.S. After receiving no response, and experiencing problems with her sponsor (a requirement for every refugee Lebanon post 2015), she escapes with her children to Istanbul.

Sham decides she must find a man to protect her and her children during the dangerous journey, so she meets Marwan, who shares the rest of the journey with them. Next comes the terrifying sea journey to the island of Lesbos, Greece. Neither Sham nor her children no how to swim.  The children describe the terrifying sea voya...

September 24, 2018

Tangun, Apay, Raja, Uta, Onia, Tetay, Telo, Telnay, Eda, Tahay, Iidam, Owo, Onokay, Yaday, Ueo, Lula, Pilu, Kilda, Bapa, Tanisha, Durayt, Tangatay, Takulu, Etalay, Ahay, Utchu, Telo, Tanisha and Pilo – these are just some of the names of people from the Jarawa tribe, pictured in Alexandre Dereim's important documentary, 'We Are Humanity.'

The Jarawa tribe are the "last descendants of the first modern humans". They left Africa 70,000 years ago and have been living in peaceful seclusion in the Adaman Islands off the coast of India ever since. The Jarawa are the last of the Afro-Asian peoples of the Adaman islands, and there are now only 420 left.

Words cannot describe the serenity of the Jarawa people – however, serenity does not imply simplicity! Many cruel myths portray tribes such as the Jarawa as simple, gormless savages. This damaging stereotype is instantly laid to rest on beholding the wisdom, skill and dexterity of the Jarawa. From carving delicate and perfectly balanced bows,...

September 19, 2018

World renowned Syrian artist, Tammam Azzam, is currently exhibiting works from his latest series, 'Storeys', at Galerie Kornfeld in  West Berlin. Last week, we went along to take a closer look...

Made famous by his seminal work 'Freedom Graffiti', in which he superimposed Gustav Klimt's 'The Kiss' onto a bombed Syrian building, Tammam Azzam aims to 'draw attention to the tragedy of Syria'. 

 'Freedom Graffiti', Tammam Azzam - Image via The Independent

Having fled to Dubai in 2011 at the beginning of the uprisings, Tammam Azzam remains deeply tied to Syria, and heartbroken by the overwhelming destruction of his home country. Through his art, Azzam speaks out against the the brutal Assad and I.S. regimes, and the West's narrativization of the conflict: "How many gassed bodies of children do you need? Why is Syria a plaything? Why is it simply entertainment?"

As well as providing a critique on the Syrian conflict, Azzam wishes to connect through his art, sharing a message that...

June 29, 2018

Following on from last weekend's photography exhibition, 'The Art of Black and White', we take a closer looks at some of our favourite photographs, and reflect on the power of Art as a medium for communication.

Last weekend, Pass The Crayon teamed up with the local art gallery, Berlin Blue Art to present a collection of photographs taken from artists from around the world. The photos were chosen from a selection of pictures sent in from artists across the globe, collated via the online photography platform, GuruShots. Each picture was completely different in style and skill level, but all pictures were ccohesively in black and white. 

What really stood out was the individual perspective of each frame. There was not one picture that didn’t capture the esoteric beauty of the subject. It was amazing to see something as mundane as a set of hands folded. It was photographed in a light which made it seem so intensely realistic it looked as though the hands were so worn that they were made...

June 7, 2018

Upcycling nonprofit, Mimycri, turn abandoned lifeboats used to carry migrants across the Mediterranean, into stylish bags and accessories. I attended their recent fashion show to find out more...

The first bag on the runway was a rucksack made of pink, black, white and green canvas pieces, stitched together in a stylish geometric design. More and more models strode proudly down the catwalk sporting a mixture of satchels, holdalls, bumbags and rucksacks, each one totally unique.

Hassan was present at the fashion show, where he and a co-worker introduced the show by saying a few words in German. It was heartwarming to see how much pride and thought had gone into the whole event, and to see newcomers actively involved in the process, every step of the way.

Image via UNHCR

As I watched the canvas creations emerge on the runway, many thoughts ran through my head: How many lives have those life rafts helped to save? And, how many had they lost? How would I feel, as a refugee who had perhaps trav...

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