After having been to over 60 cities in Italy and around the world, from 27 October to 5 November, the photographs taken by Still I Rise students are coming for the first time to the heart of Italy's institutions.
In the magnificent, frescoed setting of the Sala del Cenacolo, inside the Vicolo Valdina complex of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, the exhibition "Through Our Eyes" reveals the viewpoint of vulnerable boys and girls who are refugees. We are taken in a conceptual line from the hotspot of Samos, Greece to the city of Ad Dana, in northwest Syria.
A selection of 40 photos tells of fears and hopes, dreams and extreme conditions of life, love and loss. The young photographers, aged between 10 and 17, turn their attention to the world around them with innocence and great wisdom, looking for meaning in the hardship, looking to the future sometimes with hope, sometimes with intense resignation.
The project came to be in 2018 in Samos merely as an end-of-course assignment for the photography workshop of the Mazì educational center. But the results were so powerful it was turned into a photographic exhibition that has reached thousands of visitors in Italy and around the world. It also became docu-series of the same name, and then came together in the book “Through our Eyes”. Still I Rise then went on to recreate the project in the city of Ad Dana, where the Ma'an educational centre is located, for Syrian students to have the same opportunity as their peers in Europe.
Nicoletta Novara, the exhibition's creator, says, "What struck us the most when we saw the photographs taken by our students in Samos was the fact that they also focused on the beauty of the island, the moments of leisure outside the camp, and their dreams and hopes for the future. I think if they were to redo the photographic project right now, given that our students live in a new camp that seems a lot like a prison, 8 kilometres away from everything, I think that part too would be erased, leaving room only for the hardship and obstacles that they have to overcome every day. Something like the photographs that came to us from Syria, where there's poignant poetry in their pictures and the certainty of a childhood stolen and forever marked by war."
Through Our Eyes has become symbolic of children and adolescence with something to say, but who are still deprived of a place and a way to make their voices heard. (Press release)
SAVE THE DATE
THROUGH OUR EYES
27 October – 5 November 2021
Complesso di Vicolo Valdina | Sala del Cenacolo
Piazza in Campo Marzio, 42, Rome
Hours: 27/10 – 4/11 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (last admission 5:30 pm)
5/11 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Closed Saturday and Sunday.
Free admission, in compliance with current regulations on the prevention of Covid-19.