Young people in Bosnia and New York City are responding to trauma through art. Children's Movement for Creative Education (CMCE), founded by Elana Haviv '94, presented "Aftershocks: Art and Memoirs on Growing Up in the Aftermath," an exhibit of drawings, paintings, collages, video art, documentary, memoirs and photographs created during a year-and-a-half span in Sarajevo and a one-year span in New York. "Aftershocks" showed at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City in November 2003, at the International Peace Center Gallery in Sarajevo in August 2003, and at The Frontline Club in London in December 2003.
Kate Chumly '94, codirector of CMCE, says "Aftershocks" gave the Bosnian teens "an opportunity-through writing and visual artwork, primarily-to talk about their experiences as children, about what happened to them during the war there, and about what present life is like and what they anticipate and hope for in the future." Also part of "Aftershocks" are pieces by New York City fifth and sixth graders who witnessed the attacks on the World Trade Center. "They know what it is to have their childhood shattered," says Chumley, "to have their confidence in the world, in safety, in the certainty that their family is going to be OK, disappear."
The idea for "Aftershocks" hatched two years ago in Sarajevo, when Haviv traveled there in an attempt to bring together children of war. The U.S. project began two weeks after the collapse of the twin towers. The young New Yorkers exchanged letters with children from Sarajevo and attended peace workshops. To dispel misplaced anger and violence, CMCE students created collages depicting Afghan refugee camps, dialogues between Afghan women, poems about journeys inside themselves in search of memories and fears from 9/11, and postcard images of hope and inspiration for other children. Some of those pieces appear in "Aftershocks." For more information, see the Spring 2001 issue of the Bryn Mawr Alumnae Bulletin and www.childrensmovement.org.
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