4/17/21- "Art is My Life"
In the largest refugee settlement in the world (located in Bangladesh), Rohingyan asylum seekers are spreading joy and finding hope in all forms of art. The New York Times published an article last month featuring these artists, their stories, and how they are changing the lives of those in the resettlement camp.
A group of muralists, called the ronger manus (colorful people), use artwork to express their own emotions when words fall short and provide important messages about anything from COVID-19 to gender equality. They don't stop there; this group also teaches the young children of the camp how to create their own artwork, building a stronger sense of community and providing an outlet to show their feelings.
Boshirullah, an elder in the Rohingyan community, serenades children in the community with his turquoise colored mandolin; he uses music to tell traditional Rohingyan tales and his own lived experiences. The article quotes Boshirullah as saying, "Art is not only medicine. It is my life... [mentoring children] has been a rebirth." In addition to fostering inter-generational connections, Artolution, the education non-profit working in the refugee camp, has hosted musical events for Bangladeshi and Rohingyan children, strengthening the bonds between the refugees and their host community.
As the settlement camp continues to grow, they are confident that the arts programming will continue to positively benefit the families there and keep the vibrant culture and traditions of the Rohingyan community alive.
Link to read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/19/arts/design/rohingya-survivors-art-bangladesh.html