Lesvos_drawing the war


by caritas-hellas July 21, 2016 15:18



Maristella Tsamantropoulou*


-What a great drawing!

-Really? Do you like it?

What inspires an artist? We can never actually know. Renowned painters and sculptors, writers and poets, artists of all kinds, embrace their Muse in various topics. Beauty and ugliness, life and death, “eros” and hate, peace and war, love… and the vacuum… All these can become sources of inspiration and creativity for those who can transform their emotions into words, artistic constructions, melodies; and they can also be a source of admiration or repulsion for the people who “meet” the work of art.

-Of course! Trees, sun. And what is this, there? What is this? A mountain?

-No! No! It is an explosion in my city, in Syria.

Unfortunately, this concept is not an unexpected one in the drawings of children of refugees and migrants, who were forced to leave their countries, to flee harsh or inhumane conditions. We see this kind of drawings during our daily recreational activities with the children in the camps.

The colours, warm and cold, should not be used this way. The lines reflecting violence and pain should not be drawn. The words describing children’s paintings should not be “war”, “fire”, “death”.

These are adult games. Adults communicate such messages through artwork. But not children! No child, from any country of the world, under no circumstances, should be inclined to capture such memories and images on a piece of paper. Because, simply, no child should have experienced such a situation. The light, happiness, restlessness, play and life should have been the only sources of inspiration for children.

Hence, we, adults, should provide for the children’s art to reflect the beauty of life – and this beauty alone; for our world to be a source of inspiration for colourful drawings, drawings with the colours of peace.


*Maristella Tsamantropoulou is Caritas Hellas Communication Officer

Image 1 Tahir’s drawing

From Caritas Hellas “Recreational Activities” program, in Karatepe, Lesvos. Click here  http://bit.ly/29NXXNl for more information regrading the Humanitarian Assistance for Refugees & Migrants