Exhibition marks World Refugee Day
UNHCR Türkiye marked the World Refugee Day with a photography exhibition, “Life Through My Eyes,” originating from a series of photography workshops where Turkish and refugee children living in the southeastern province of Mardin came together to reflect on the environment they live in through their own lenses.
Each year, World Refugee Day is marked by a variety of events in many countries around the globe to bring attention to the plight of those fleeing conflict.
The opening of the exhibition, hosted by UNHCR Türkiye Representative Philippe Leclerc, was recently made at Atatürk Cultural Center in Istanbul.
“The photographs in this exhibition portray children’s creativity, joy and beauty- conveying our primary goal of enabling children to live their lives as children. This remarkable initiative is very timely, as conflicts uproot people at an unprecedented pace. Wherever they come from, people forced to flee should be welcomed. What remains universal is the right to seek safety. Borders should remain open for them. They need our help and our support today as much as ever, especially in being able to live with their families, including their grandparents and siblings, as separation can often occur in times of conflict,” Leclerc said.
“Since 2014, Türkiye has been hosting the world’s largest refugee population, with some 4 million refugees and asylum-seekers benefiting from a sound legislative framework, almost half of whom are children who have needs, dreams and hopes for a future,” he added.
Through the “Mobile Darkroom Photography Project,” carried out by UNHCR Türkiye and Sirkhane Darkroom and under the Art Anywhere Association, 270 Turkish, Syrian and Iraqi children between the ages of 7 and 17 were given fundamental technical training on analog photography in the workshops in Mardin.
They were also informed about children’s rights, ecological awareness and gender equality through games and had the opportunity to reflect on their impressions and feelings on these subjects.
The workshop enabled children, regardless of nationality, to learn how to live together, become active learners and create with one another.