The International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) participated in the UNHCR Office in Austria’s initiative ‘Long Day of Flight’ (Langer Tag der Flucht) by inviting the public to visit the exhibition ‘Bridges,’ that displays paintings by Austrian and Syrian artists. The aim of the exhibition was to build awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the challenges facing refugees from the country.
Marwa Sarah, one of the featured Syrian artists, spoke to two groups of students about life in her home country and her experience of leaving Syria and integrating into Austrian society. The students, who were aged 14 to 16, had many questions regarding the artist’s life in Austria and the challenges of integration into a new society. Throughout the day, Marwa Sarah was also available to take questions about the artwork on display and her experiences, which influenced her art.
In 2013, finding that the situation in her home country left her no choice, the young fine arts graduate of the University of Damascus departed Syria. She is now completing her master’s degree at the University of Fine Arts in Vienna. The circumstances and situation of the people of her homeland are reflected in many of her paintings.
For more information on “Bridges” and featured artists, visit www.kaiciid.org/bridges.
‘Langer Tag der Flucht’
The Long Day of Flight was first held in 2012 by UNHCR Austria to promote acceptance of asylum seekers and has been held every year in the end of September. Through workshops, readings, exhibitions, film screenings, discussions and other events Austrians, refugees and asylum seekers are able to exchange views and learn more about ‘the other’.