February 02, 2022
Expression Through the Arts
Where words can fail, art is a universal language as one of the members of our Syrian community, Asma*, shared with us.
Moving somewhere new is difficult for anyone, but it can be especially challenging learning to express yourself in a completely different language. Where words can fail, art is a universal language as one of the members of our Syrian community, Asma*, shared with us.
Asma is only 18, and she left Syria as a refugee at eight years old because of the war. She told us “the war is so cruel that I do not forget the sounds of bombs and bullets from everywhere, and the sound of women and children screaming in fear… I was one of them, even though I was very young.”
Now, Asma is part of the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. As part of this project, she has become a member of our community in Lewisham. Asma is part of the 100 families that Lewisham has committed to welcoming into the borough by May 2022.
“I like to paint what happened in Syria and how the war affected us.”
LRMN partners with Lewisham Council and Refugee Council to offer life-changing support to resettled refugees. We offer workshops and coaching to help develop the skills that the families need to rebuild their lives, we empower the families to know their rights, we provide weekly drop-ins for advice, and we provide English language classes, among other services.
Asma has found that alongside learning English, art is a powerful tool for expression – both drawing and photography. “Art allows me to express myself by drawing how I feel about anything,” she tells us. “It allows me to explain myself easily, even if the drawing isn’t very good. It also greatly relaxes and relieves my stress.”
“I like to paint what happened in Syria and how the war affected us and to show what is inside of me as well as the beautiful things that I hope will happen in my country and all other countries in the future.”
Asma draws as well as experimenting with photography
Art also allows Asma to go beyond her own perspective, allowing insight into other people and their points of view. She explained “My love for art came from my love of understanding complex things and interpreting them in beautiful and clear ways. Also because the artist has a different point of view than others. He sees things and the world through his distinctive point of view.”
Despite the challenges that Asma and her community/family have faced, she tells us that things have greatly improved for her, and that she hopes that will continue to thrive as they rebuild their lives. Art will always be a way for her to document this journey.
For more on the Refugee Resettlement Programme, please click here.
*Names have been changed to protect our client’s identity.