Young Artists Group - Shatila.
Four generations after their families left Palestine, children are still growing up in the narrow, crowded streets of Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon. The camp was built in 1949 to offer temporary sanctuary to Palestinians fleeing the violence in their country. What was meant to house 500 families for a short period has become a city within a city, housing over 40,000 people in the same small area.
These children are the 'Forever Refugees' - prevented from returning to their homes, or from accessing the full rights of people displaced by war - as Palestinians in Lebanon, they cannot own property, or become engineers, doctors, lawyers or a host of other prohibited occupations.
But even in this place, where live electrical cables hang low over the dark, sunless streets; where gunfire cracks through the night sky and poverty is a fact of life, the children are still children.
They love to laugh, they love to play, and they LOVE to draw and paint.
Earlier this year, I spent a few weeks at the 'Children & Youth Centre' (CYC) in Shatila, taking art supplies with me with a view to setting up a Young Artists Group within the centre. The children, a mix of mostly Palestinians and Syrians, were in their element, whether drawing from their active imaginations, or from life.
What you see below are a few examples of what those young artists created during the few weeks I was there, expressing just a tiny fraction of the imaginations of these life-loving, resilient children (Also, a couple of my own doodles, and some images of the CYC, the children & staff). Each of these images is now available on an A6 postcard - and, whether you love the images or you just want to support the artistic adventures of these wonderful children, these postcards can be purchased in packs of ten for only £10, with free p&p to the UK (see 'buy button' at the bottom of this page). All funds raised through the sale of this artwork will go towards buying art materials for the Young Artists Group of Shatila.
The children are super-excited by the idea that prints of their drawings and paintings are being sold to art lovers around the world, and will be thrilled to know that their art has been bought by someone who might be living hundreds, or even perhaps thousands of miles away from the cramped alleyways of Shatila.
A6 Postcards : Pack of 10 for £10. Free p&p*.
There are currently 20 different designs to choose from. We hope you like what you see. Scroll down to place your order (and if there are certain images you'd like to receive, rather than a randomised pack of 10, please enter the numbers of the images which float your boat!).
On behalf of the young artists of Shatila, thank you!
* Unfortunately, because of postage costs & issues / Brexit, these postcard packs are only for sale in the UK. Apologies to the rest of the world.
Place your order (UK only) :