Inside-Outside: Children's Drawings, Photography, and Stories from Syrian Refugees in Turkey
Our project is a unique and new kind of storytelling, combining the realism of photojournalism with the expressionism of art. We will travel to Syrian refugee camps in Turkey, collect art therapy drawings done by Syrian refugee kids, and pair those with our photographic portraits and interviews.
We will publish all this material in a multimedia eBook so we can share the art, photographs, and stories with the world. The eBook will be free: that is best way to reach as many of the more than 120 million iPad owners, a huge potential audience. The beauty of publishing an eBook is there are no printing or distribution costs — only the cost of making the multimedia eBook itself, significantly less than a printed publication.
Ultimately, our project will combine both emotion and image, giving voices to the silent and faces to the lost.
The Syrian Civil War has created over 2 million of refugees, over half of whom are children. These are ordinary people fleeing death and destruction who have left for the surrounding countries of Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey.
Every day we see refugees from Syria on the Internet, on television, and in the papers. As with every foreign war, the public finds it hard to identify with others so far away in such strange situations. We know this is true because there the relief agencies are still begging for money — small amounts by state standards — to help the refugees.
The project offers a new and unique perspective — it shows a situation through the eyes of both the subjects and the photographer. It does this by joining the children's stories in their own images with our photographic portraits of them. The project will give you an understanding of the inner and outer selves of the refugee kids, thereby bringing you closer to these distant people in need.
Plainly put, the "big-picture" goal of this project is to raise awareness by connecting people to the plight of the refugees so they will support sending more resources aid Syrian refugees.
We want you to be part of this story.
About the Drawings
For at least 100 years, children have made drawings as a way to start conversations about their war experiences. Collections of such pictures go back to the Spanish Civil War.
These drawings speak a universal language: they are raw expressions of human experience, unfiltered by place, language, or politics. They connect people across cultures.
They work in the same way photography works, but they are expressions of a person's inner thoughts, not their outer appearance.
The drawings are immediate in the way a photograph is immediate, which is why pairing them is so effective and powerful. They are a straight line to an emotional connection.
About the Multimedia eBook
David Gross has developed his own software platform for making multimedia eBook apps. He has used the system to create more than seven apps in the iTunes store with over 10,000 total downloads. He has made multimedia eBook apps for Ed Kashi, The War Diaries Project (Gary Knight/Peter Maass/Tim McLaughlin), The Aftermath Project, and others. You can learn more about these multimedia eBooks at http://mimetic.com/portfolio/ , and you can download most of the eBooks for free from the iTunes store (links provided at the website). We'll be using David's software to build our multimedia eBook app because it is an amazing system, and it will greatly reduce our costs of development and production.
Now is the Time
Recent events have brought the Syrian war to the top of the news. That means this effort will reach a greater audience than ever as people search for meaningful ways to understand why the U.S. would want risk blood and tears for people in far off lands about whom we know little.
Fantastic! How Can I Help?
We can reach a broad audience with a new mass-media technology and by telling our tales with rich, compelling, and in-depth story-telling, and we would like you to be a part of our project.
The money you donate will go to pay our expenses for the production of the multimedia eBook, including design, programming, and travel.
Please help us out by donating $10, $25, $100 or more — whatever you can afford.
We also need your help getting the word out: please share this page with as many people as you can, on Facebook, email, twitter, or however you like to communicate with the world.
(Please note: if we do not reach our fundraising goal, you will not be charged and we will not receive your money. In addition, Kickstarter and other processing fees take 8-10% of the money we raise here.)
Risks and challenges
The main challenge we face will be gaining access to the refugee camps themselves. However, many refugees are living outside camps, so we are certain we will be able to find participants. Furthermore, David's experience living and working as a photojournalist in Turkey, and our many Turkish contacts, will help us overcome the hurdles we face.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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