Inspired by Syrian children confined to refugee camps in Jordan, Fintan Magee painted “The Exile”, a mural of a girl he worked with in a painting project. Alongside a fading reflection of her past life she gazes into a future that is unknown. This mural was curated by aptART – Awareness & Prevention Through Art.
About The Mural
Titled “The Exile“, the mural depicts a young girl in limbo, torn between two worlds. Her image in the foreground is looking outwards towards an uncertain future, her background reflection is looking back, towards the world she left behind.
“Jordan has absorbed more refugees than almost any other county. With almost 3 Million from Palestine, 1.4 Million from Syria and 200,000 from Iraq over half the country’s population is from a refugee background.
The first wave of refugees in the country were Palestinian who fled their homeland during the creation of Israel in 1948. Most of the Palestinian’s in Jordan are now permanently settled and are allowed access to public services and healthcare, as a result, the areas that were once refugee camps have been transformed into urbanized neighbourhoods surrounding the nations cities.
This wall, painted in one for these Predominately Palestinian neighbourhoods is a portrait of a young girl who escaped Syria with her three brothers. The brothers and sisters are currently in the ‘un-accompanied minors’ section of a refugee camp, a small orphanage for children that arrived with no parents or other family. This girl was the most outgoing of all the girls there, leaving the private girls-only section everyday to play football, socialize and speak to her brothers.
I was surprised by how many people I met in the camp had rejected resettlement in other countries as they felt that if they left the camp their homeland would be lost for them, choosing instead to wait out the war in the hope that they could return to their homes. Almost everyone I met dreamed of returning to Syria over anything else.” Fintan Magee
The Syrian Regufees
More than half of Syria’s people have fled their homes. Syrians are stuck between a world they knew that no longer exists and a future they cannot start. In search of safety they wait at closed borders, for deadly sea crossings and inside refugee camps. As refugees they do not arrive at destinations. They arrive at waiting places. They wait for the war to stop and for food and water to be distributed, for paperwork to be processed, for a permit to work or to attend a school. They wait for their lives to resume. They wait for news of death. They are trapped in the waiting place.
About The Artist
Fintan Magee is an Australian street artist known for his murals throughout Australia and the world. Born in Lismore New South Wales he grew up in Brisbane, gaining a reputation as a graffiti writer before obtaining a fine arts degree and relocating to Sydney.
He has been described as ‘Australia’s Banksy by a number of media outlets although Magee has stated in various interviews that he hates this and that such comparisons are the result of ‘lazy journalism’.
His work often deals with environmental issues, in 2015 his solo show at Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne was themed around his own personal experiences in the 2011 Brisbane floods. He often uses personal stories to talk about broader issues like climate change and the migrant crisis.
He received national acclaim for his mural depicting Felix Baumgartner in Brisbane, and has participated in various public art festivals in Australia and abroad.
Awareness & Prevention Through Art (aptART) is an organization of artists and activists. aptART aims to share with conflict affected and marginalized youth an artistic experience alongside the opportunity to express themselves. The organization creates outlets to build awareness and promote prevention about the issues affecting people’s lives. In collaboration with local and international organizations operating on location, artists and activists coordinate workshops with youth from different communities. The workshops culminate in large-scale public art as well as individual pieces. The workshops and art focus on issues affecting communities with messages of positivity and hope.
Exhibiting both locally and internationally, aptART displays work created by children and artists participating in projects. Proceeds from the sales of photographs and children’s works are returned back to AptART to fund future projects. aptART has worked with youth in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Jordan, Turkey, DR Congo, Mozambique and Europe.
Projects are made possible by the support and collaborations of Mercy Corps, War Child, ACTED, Skate-aid, Make Life Skate Life, UNICEF and the European Commission – Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO.) Collaborating artists include HERAKUT (Germany), Ruben Sanchez (Spain), Jonathan Darby (UK), Jumana Hokan (Syria), Yusra Aljabari (Jordan), Joel Bergner (US), Max Frieder (US), Ali Kiwan (Syria), Safeen Othman (Iraq), Bethany Burgoyne (UK), Screw Crew, (Jordan), Alesh (DR Congo), Luc van der Walt (South Africa) and Samantha Robison (US).