Fintan Magee visited recently Jordan where he painted this new and wonderful mural for the aptART – Awareness & Prevention Through Art project in Amman.
True to his unique figurative style and painted in one for these Predominately Palestinian neighbourhoods, Fintan Magee’s new mural features the 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. As explained by Magee, 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.
The portrait shows the 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.
‘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.’
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 urbanised neighbourhoods surrounding the nations cities.
AptART works with refugees both inside Syria as well as those who have fled across borders. In Jordan’s Za’atari Refugee camp aptART partners with ACTED, working with the over 120,000 people who now call this camp home. Zaatari is now the second largest refugee camp in the world as more people arrive daily.
The work with Syrian youth is both individual and collaborative, exploring the mental and physical space of refuge. Together, the youth and their communities reflect upon the shared experiences of a shattered homeland while trying to create a colourful and uplifting environment inside the bleak refugee camps. The projects create a sense of ownership by scrawling messages and splashing colours across shared spaces from washrooms to schools to community centres.
Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.