UNICEF’s #E-Motions Children’s Exhibition celebrates inclusive expression of emotions through art
Paintings, collages and photographs created by Romanian and Ukrainian children were presented on Tuesday in an art exhibition organized by UNICEF to support the inclusion of refugee children in Romania. This initiative was the result of an invitation addressed to Ukrainian and Romanian children to explore and express through art the emotions triggered by their personal journeys, in a series of workshops.
The #E-Motions exhibition was preceded by several art workshops for Ukrainian refugee children and Romanian children organized by UNICEF. The initiative aims to support the inclusion of refugee children, while creating a dedicated space for the expression of thoughts, ideas and feelings inspired by personal journeys that children have experienced or witnessed during periods of physical or emotional transition.
Through this art exhibition, UNICEF encourages children to be key witnesses, actors and messengers of the current situation in Ukraine and neighboring countries, of the social environment in this emergency and of more structural issues. More than 70 Ukrainian and Romanian children between the ages of 7 and 18 participated in art workshops organized at the “Mihai Viteazul” National College, the “Uruguay” Secondary School and the ANAID Association in Bucharest, but also at the Blue Dot CATTIA Center in Brașov.
These schools and centers are spaces where UNICEF partners – the Romanian Angel Appeal Foundation, the “Regina Maria” Social Innovation Foundation and the ANAID Association offer services for Ukrainian children living in Romania, with support from UNICEF and its partners: Brașov City Hall and City Hall The Municipality of Bucharest, through the General Directorate of Social Assistance of the Municipality of Bucharest.
The #e-MOTIONS workshops aimed to create safe spaces where children are engaged and supported in exploring the emotions triggered by their personal journeys through painting and collage, by art teachers and UNICEF team members. After learning about color theory and the connections between art and emotions, the children were encouraged to express their feelings on canvas, focusing on the process and telling their own stories.
Through their works, the children who participated in the workshops expressed their feelings of hope and wishes for peace. “I’m sure that despite the difficult situations in the world, our lives go on and I think I will be able to find my inner peace no matter where I am,” said Elizaveta, 16, from Kharkiv, Ukraine. “I want to show that we are very small, and yet so strong, in front of this big, big world,” Catia, 15, from Odessa, Ukraine, said of her painting.
“UNICEF promotes the right to inclusive education for every child by fostering environments where children feel safe, where their mental health is supported and where they are engaged in quality learning, including through art and social and recreational activities . Our aim is to support all children in accessing essential services and in respecting their needs and rights. Ukrainian refugee children in Romania need to continue their education and development, and UNICEF has been working tirelessly since the first days of the crisis so that they can learn safely,” said Anna Riatti, UNICEF Representative in Romania. In the coming weeks, the artworks will be displayed in several locations in Romania.