IAA and migrants

Following the Migration Forum held in Tunis, in September 2018, the visual artist Fatema Binet Ouakka, an AIAP-IAA member, was asked by Mrs Chantal Jarousse, a member of the Associations 'Citizenship and Active Citizenship of Lorraine' and 'Les Velainois vigileants', to supervise painting workshops for unaccompanied minor and adult migrants, mainly coming from Africa and Eastern countries. Thanks to C. Jarousse, those workshops were organized in the village of Velaine -en-Haye (54840), near Nancy, France. The 'Arelia Association', a manager for major migrants at the Velaine specialized lodging site, provided a large room to allow cultural exchanges between the two populations of migrants which are living in the same building.

On January 21 and 22, 2019, about thirty aspiring artists came to express their dreams, using painting and pigments, in this place made available by the County Council of Meurthe et Moselle and by the State. They were able to release their emotions through their drawings and paintings, to express the vision of their new life, to exorcise happy and unhappy memories.

Those two days were supported by the solidarity of a lot of volunteers from Velaine who already helped by teaching a perfect French to the migrants through language classes, and who provided material, assistance, and food.

The Town Hall of Velaine-en-Haye proposed to exhibit the drawings and paintings in its premises. During a special day organized by the Association 'Active Citizenship', on March 16, 2019, the President of the County Council – a partner of that day – accepted to show this exhibition in the premises of the Departmental Council, probably at the end of 2019.

In addition, Jean -François Clément, an anthropolgist, an art critic, a former teacher of philosophy, and an Unesco advisor, interpreted these twenty paintings and drawings by giving them a multidimensional reading.

In front of the enthusiasm of the young minor migrants during those two days – they felt they were integrated by a part of the local population – the responsibles of the unaccompanied minors and asylum seekers decided to make this experience again at the end of the scholar year, in June 2019.

The following report (French version) details the management, the organization, the progress and the results of this project based on hospitality and integration.

Watch the tableaux made by migrants through this link [PDF] | Read the report [PDF]






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