Beirut, 22 January 2015– UNICEF and Zakira, The Image Festival Association are jointly launching the “Lahza 2” exhibition of displaced children’s photography at Al Madina Theatre in Beirut today.
“These photographs give us the extraordinary opportunity to see the lives of displaced children from the child’s viewpoint,” said UNICEF’s Representative Annamaria Laurini. “Today we should watch and listen and see through the eyes of refugee children how they see their lives, their troubles and their aspirations”.
Over a period of more than a year, five hundred children displaced from Syria in Lebanon, aged 7 to 12 years of age, were given basic training on how to use a camera and compose an image to capture a glimpse of their lives.
Zakira’s team visited 63 locations across Lebanon for a total of 238 visits to give a chance to Syrian and Palestinian refugee children to examine their new lives and portray it through their eyes. The exhibition is the result of these children’s work.
“The images speak for themselves,” said Ramzi Haidar, founder of Zakira. ”Children have a genuine way of seeing the world, and that is why these photographs are so moving”.
On the day of the opening, a documentary on the lives of four children who took part in the project was screened and the “Lahza 2” book compiling 140 photographs taken by the children will be launched. An ongoing screening of 12 one-minute short films with children’s voices is being featured as part of the exhibition as well. The stories captured in the photographs and short movie are testimonies of these children.
The exhibition will be held from the 22nd till the 27th of January 2015.
Children are at the center of UNICEF call for action for basic human rights and dignity, and as Syria enters its fourth year of conflict, over 1,160.000 refugees have sought shelter in Lebanon – rendering it the country with the largest refugee population per capita in the world. 617,368 displaced children in Lebanon are exposed to hardship, fear and violence, and deprived of their normal lives.
For further information:
Soha Boustani, UNICEF Chief of Communication, firstname.lastname@example.org , +961 70 931 700
Miriam Azar, UNICEF Communication Specialist, email@example.com, +961 71 575 914
Salam Abdulmunem, Communications Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org, +961 70 99 66 05
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About UNICEF: UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
About Zakira: Zakira – “memory” in Arabic – is an all-volunteer organization devoted to the promotion of photography in Lebanon as an art form, a means of honest reporting and a professional skill. Zakira is the brainchild of photojournalist Ramzi Haidar who developed the idea for its first project while on assignment in Baghdad during the American invasion of Iraq.
Seeing a similar plight within the Palestinian refugees camps in Lebanon, he decided to actively address it through photography upon his return to Beirut.
With other photographers, journalists, artists and other volunteers, the group embarked upon their first project called “Lahza”, meaning “glimpse” or “moment” in Arabic.