It’s been more than 10 years since protests in Syria descended into a deadly conflict. This crisis has killed hundreds of thousands, and forced half the country’s population to flee their homes, including millions of children. An entire generation of children and young adults have had to face deep and persistent trauma, affecting their mental health, physical development and, of course, their futures.
Creating art is a proven and powerful way for people of all ages to process traumatic experiences, and ultimately move past them. This conversation, in partnership with Save the Children, explored how the young people caught up in this crisis are using art to share their stories, and how it is being used to support children’s wellbeing, learning, and development.
“Each art form simulates the brain in a different way and correlates to each sense. The impact of HEART can be social, emotional, and neurological. This combination helps to promote mental health well being, as well as learning development in children.” – Sara Hommel
“It is important to have a closer look at the personal stories of the crisis. It is important for us to narrate our own story.” – Diala Brisley
“According to the UN, the Syrian crisis is the worst manmade disaster since World War II.” – Negin Janeti
“My father was born as a refugee in Pakistan during World War II. Since the Syrian crisis is often compared to the disaster of WWII, I felt like I had to do something. My means of action is storytelling and filmmaking.” – David Henry Gerson
Negin Janati (Moderator):
What made you want to participate in the film?
What was your experience with living in Syria and leaving Syria?
How have you used your art to help children and yourself with dealing with the war?
How does Save the Children’s HEART program help children when dealing with these tough experiences?
How has HEART specifically supported children affected by the crisis in Syria?
David Henry Gerson
What inspired you to create this film?