WAR-TOYS
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Travelog

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Travelog

Chronicling the process behind WAR-TOYS from the perspective of toy photographer Brian McCarty.

Index of posts by category:

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Posts in Child Interviews
Young Refugee's "Bad" and "Good" Cities

On March 3rd, Art Therapist Myra Saad (Artichoke Studio) and I returned to the Kayany Foundation's Malala Yousafzai School near the eastern border of Lebanon. We worked with a mixed-gender group of children (8-12 years old) and picked up where we left off in the previous session. It had ended with the children collaboratively designing an idealized "good" city. However, when put to a vote, they decided that it would be better to construct a "bad" city first, then rebuild on top of it the next time we met. 

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Designing Cities / Group Art Activities

From my very first WAR-TOYS trip, I've had few opportunities to work with the same children over multiple sessions. The reasons vary from deteriorating security situations (like in Gaza) to a lack of resources and/or access. Many organizations don't have ongoing psychosocial programs in which to integrate the project, and I wasn't in a position to create temporary workshops to fill in the gaps. To do this, I needed a dedicated art therapist, NGO support, and adequate funding. Happily, this year, everything came together.

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Full Day of Art-Based Interviews

On February 25th, Art Therapist Myra Saad and I spent our first day working together again with three groups of Syrian refugee children. The Kayany Foundation kindly provided use of a classroom at their Malala Yousafzai All-Girls School and organized the groups – one all-girls (ages 13-16) and two mixed gender (ages 8-12) from the neighboring Kuzbari-Rotary German School.

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Syrian Refugees / Kayany Foundation

Even after extending my stay in Lebanon, I decided that there wasn't enough time to gather and articulate accounts from all of the various refugee and local populations affected by war. Lebanon is at the crossroads of so many conflicts that it's going to take multiple trips to represent the perspectives of Iraqi, Syrian, Kurdish, Palestinian, and Lebanese children. For now, I chose to focus the majority of my remaining stay on Syrian children living in refugee camps in the Bekaa Valley. 

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