Zeina Zeitoun’ s exhibition “Half a World Away” opening reception this Thursday, February 22nd…
MICA Photo is proud to announce that last years winner of the “Chairs Award”,Zeina Zeitoun, is now exhibiting her work produced as a result of winning the award. Please come celebrate Zeina’s award & exhibition this Thursday evening at 7:00PM in the Wilgus Gallery located on the ground floor of the Main Building at 1300 W. Mount Royal Avenue.
Zeina’s statement follows:
“During the summer of 2017, after spending my undergraduate career trying to tell stories that are seldom heard or cared about from a place far away, I finally had the opportunity with the Chairs Award, to travel to the motherland of Lebanon to visit Syrian refugee camps and work alongside an educational program for Syrian refugees. With more than three thousand children enrolled, Jusoor (bridges in Arabic), creates a path to potential greatness for children who never thought greatness was in their future. While walking through the the camps and classrooms in the Bekaa Valley, I met children who have smiles that will break down all of your walls, eyes that glisten, and resilience and curiosity that could move mountains.
These resilient children were born into war, they are children of war, but what I saw and experienced was the opposite. They have stories and are eager to tell them. They have faces and they are eager to show them. They are humans and they deserve to be seen as just that. Photographing them, learning their names, and recording their voices created a sort of blueprint in the world that will be seen and remembered.”
A little bit about the journey/how I got there:
I was a part of a group of volunteers from around the world who came to Lebanon to help with the summer school program. There were people from Spain, Italy, Germany, America, Dubai, and more. For some, it was their first time in a Middle Eastern country. I first spent some time at their Beirut location, and then I started traveling to the Bekaa Valley which borders Syria. Every day I would wake up at 5:30am to drive to Beirut from the mountains to catch the two hour long bus ride up to the valley. Being there, I would alternate and go to both of the locations. The volunteers would teach classes and lead outdoor games while I floated around each group taking photos, videos, and recording audio. I had all my gear on me at all times in case I needed it right away, and kept a notepad to attempt to keep track of names. It was physically and mentally exhausting, but when I got home I would sit and review everything that happened in my head which would make me even more excited about what the next day held.