Sunday, 31 January 2016

Will you help me share her drawings? Share her pain?

It is snowing and children are impatient. Moria campo is hardly the ideal place for children to hang out. There is nothing to play with besides stones. I decide to get paper and markers, improvise a table with a stool and 2 minutes later there are already 10 children trying to all draw at the same time on a single A4 sheet. I get more notebooks. It seems to work: parents relax two minutes, the children forget where they are, paint and laugh.

A 11 or 12 year old girl shows up, asks me for a marker and starts drawing. She pushes away the small children that try to interrupt her and concentrates on what she is doing.
I realize immediately that something strange is happening. She was not like the others. She wasn't going to paint a sun, a flower, a house ...
She began drawing bombs, planes, guns, people crying, amputated people, people with blood.

I could not take my eyes off her. I began to shake. What can I say? What do I do? She looks up when she finishes a drawing hands it down to me and begins another one. She draws people with orange vests, under the sea, draws a plastic boat full of people crying. Draws her house, she writes "mother, father, sister" and points to the figures drawn. Writes "Before" as the title of this drawing.

She finishes the last drawing, hands it down to me and waves goodbye. Starts running and I'm going after her. I give her a new notepad and markers so she can take with her. She thanks me and disappears. I go back to work, a bit dazed without realising what just happened. She comes back and hands me a sheet of paper folded in 4. I open it and there's something written in Arabic. I ask a translator to help me. He tells me they are people's names. They appear to be all from the same family, because they all have the same last name. I am confused. What are you trying to tell me? And more than that ... what do I do now?

It's been over a week since this episode, and I've only managed to put it into words today . What do I do with these drawings? How can I show the world what happened in those 10 minutes in Moria? These images carry a huge weight. And now I have them. They deserve to be spread around the world. They deserve to be seen. I feel like this girl opened her soul to me and wants me to share it with the world. A 11 year old girl does not deserve to have this weight on her. Maybe she drew this to share the weight with me. I hope she feels lighter now. I hope. Will you help me carry this weight?

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