Christina’s Notes from the Field:
A wonderful surprise gift of the project in Goudoubo came from one of our youngest students, Almoubarak, age 12. On one of my last days in the camp he told me that he would be sharing some drawings with me and that I should photograph them. He brought two worn out notebooks the next day and I took them one home with me to document. Almoubarak claims that he only started making drawings when he enrolled in our project, but his prolific drawing habits and creativity make it hard for me to believe this only a recent activity for him.
He likes to draw anything he sees. Including copying from drawings in education books to whatever is happening around him. I was very touched to see this young artist, observing and recording things around him in the camp, using what he had – some old lined notebooks and colored pencils and applying some of the techniques he learned from the art lessons. The drawings he created truly are a gift in so many ways: through these drawings he explores the world around him, expresses his daily reality, and shares it with others. He expresses the multiple national identities he has been exposed to as the result of the conflict and his life as a refugee, defining cultural activities, and in the village life arms and powerful vehicles which are an ongoing presence in the conflict in northern Mali.
We’ve given Almoubarak art supplies so that he can continue this passionate drawing habit. Unfortunately keeping in contact with him in the coming months and years will be difficult, but we will try, and I hope that he can continue expressing himself through art. Thank you Almoubarak for sharing your work and your world with us. Your curiosity and creativity are inspiring!