11 March 2016
Artists, actors and celebrities are joining refugees and school children for the British Red Cross Postcards for Syria project to mark five years of the humanitarian crisis.
Contributors, including artists Grayson Perry and John Keane, film director Ken Loach, actor Mark Bonnar and comedian Shazia Mirza have produced postcard artworks, poems or messages which will be auctioned to support the British Red Cross Syria Crisis Appeal. Prominent Syrian artists and illustrators such as Tammam Azzam, Mohammad Omran and Diala Brisly have also donated artworks to the project.
School children from Scotland, Devon and Yorkshire have contributed cards, focussing on themes of home, hope and humanity to show solidarity with Syrian people as the conflict enters its 6th year. Syrian refugees are also producing messages or artworks reflecting on their personal experiences and feelings for their homeland.
Sleman Shwaish fled Aleppo, Syria in 2012 and is now a refugee service co-ordinator with a British Red Cross. Shwaish said:
“When conflict broke out in Syria, everything in my life changed. I left my studies, my family, my home. I think of Syria every day, about the people, and how they are surviving, what they have lived through. This project is a way for all of us, Syrians and citizens of the world, to express our feelings and our solidarity.”
Ted Tuthill, head of British Red Cross Middle East and North Africa said:
“The conflict in Syria has raged for five long years, bringing intolerable suffering to the lives of millions of people. Postcards for Syria provides a way for people to respond to this devastating humanitarian crisis in a more personal form. These cards will also help to raise vital funds to continue the aid operation in Syria, supporting Red Crescent volunteers who have been working through the most dangerous and difficult situations since the fighting began.”
Humanitarian needs in Syria have reached unprecedented levels. More than 11 million people have fled their homes, some becoming displaced multiple times. More than 13 million people inside Syria are in need of aid, 6.5 million of whom are children. The Red Cross Red Crescent are one of the few agencies able to work cross frontlines to reach the most vulnerable communities.
Postcards for Syria follows a previous art installation No-One Home created in 2015 by Syrian artist Ibrahim Fakhri for British Red Cross.
The postcards will be displayed 14-18 March at British Red Cross headquarters in Moorfields, London, with an online gallery and auction via www.redcross.org.uk/postcardsforsyria. The eBay auction begins at 7pm on Sunday 13 March until 20 March. Proceed wills go to the British Red Cross Syria appeal to support relief work in Syria and the region.
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Notes to editors
Full list of contributors as follows:
Fran Preston Gannon
Comedian Shazia Mirza
Film director Ken Loach
Actor Mark Bonnar
Willand Primary School, Devon
Batley Grammar School, Yorkshire
Ardnamurchan High School, Argyll, Scotland
Direct link to British Red Cross eBay shop: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/British-Red-Cross
The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is one of few agencies able to work cross frontlines in Syria, bringing aid to millions of people every month. It is the biggest provider of aid in Syria today.
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.