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Arts and culture

Plight of Syrian refugees depicted through light

BEIRUT | iloubnan.info, with agencies - November 05, 2014, 20h20
"My light is your light…", a light installation by Alaa Minawi that highlights the plight of Syrian refugees, is premiering at the end of this month in the Amsterdam Light Festival.
Alaa Minawi, a Palestinian-Lebanese interpreter and visual artist, who has been working for the past few years with refugees from Syria, Iraq and Sudan has decided to highlight the refugee struggle through the medium of light installation.

During his work as an interpreter where he interpreted for more than 1000 refugees families, he noticed that refugees have a certain ‘aura’; “a glow that radiates from within them”. In this vein Minawi began to construct his installation around the concept of refugees embodying outlines of a fragile light.

“When people are forced to leave their cities, they do not only leave their homes, belongings, schools, favorite toys and friends and neighbors behind… they actually leave their skin and organs and memories. they transform into outlines of a radiating light.

They walk, whispering one thing: my light is your light…“

Minawi’s idea was one of 30 concepts selected out of a total of 360 for the third edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival that takes place from November 29, 2014 until January 6, 2015. It is a tribute to refugees and in particular Syrian refugees who Minawi believe transform “into a radiating outline of a human once he/she is forced out from home” with a story that needs to “shine on throughout the world”.

The light installation is six human-scale statues, outlines of human beings, created using custom-made neon lights. The figures represent a family with a father, mother, grandfather, aunt and two children. The family are walking as if they have for years. The statues will be displayed in central Amsterdam where passers-by will be able to walk around them.

The theme of this year’s festival, the third edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival is ‘A Bright City’.

Minawi has been experimenting with light sources as a form of visual art since 2010. In 2011 he started a sound and light experiment (piano in my pillow) and in 2013 he premiered ‘beyond myself…’ at the second edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival.
Tags
#Exhibition, #Syria, #Syrian_refugees
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