Social integration through music – a photo documentation

On the occasion of a donation of musical instruments by the German Federal Foreign Office to the NGOs PRAKSIS and Smile of the Child, who deal with the accommodation, care and wellbeing of unaccompanied refugee minors and children who were victims of domestic violence or/and neglect respectively, I was given the opportunity to capture the first reactions of the children to this donation.

My photos were used by the Federal Foreign Office to document this initiative on its website and social media networks.

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You can read the related article here.

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My colleagues and me visited the shelter of “Praksis“. The children and teenagers from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh got the opportunity to play on guitars, darbukas and violins.

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Right after unpacking the young fellas started to show us their traditional way of playing these instruments.

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Due to the protection of their privacy and personal safety, we weren’t allowed to show their faces. Works with me, since these young kids have already lived through enough. It was time for some fun and music sessions.

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The most interesting instrument seemed to be – of course – the guitar.

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A traditional greek bouzouki.

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I loved the way these kids enjoyed these instruments, right after unboxing them.

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These two just couldn’t stop playing and delivered some blasting darbuka beats.

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No Stradivarius violin, but the way this kid worked with it looked more than a complete beginner.

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And of course – selfie time for the family far abroad.

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A closeup of one of the dozen instruments.

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The Embassy also provided some professional lessons to teach the kids some basic knowledge of playing these instruments.

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Later that day, we’ve visited the shelter “Smile of the child“. A resort for abused and abandoned children.

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These kids are much younger and received instruments that fitted their age well.

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The older ones also received some guitars – to support their interest in musical activities.

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The common room transformed into a loud and cheerfull music hall.

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Yet it was absolutely amazing and touching to see these little kids enjoying the moment.

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Yes – definately a female Slash. She rocked the cords.

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A lesson by their social worker.

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And another fella, that set the pace.

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Creative chaos.

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In October 2016 the initiative was also presented at the „Break the Chain Festival/against human trafficking” at Technopolis, Athens, so it was time for some printing.

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Here are the final results:

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And some random festival shot. Here you can see an art exhibition of a minor refugee.

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Embassy logo on the festival program.

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A mask-crafting workshop with young refugees.

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More than 6000 people visited the festival, so it was a good chance for me to show my work in public and contribute to a good cause.

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