Fotografias de Crianças Refugiadas da Agência Magnum

Fevereiro 13, 2018 às 8:00 pm | Publicado em A criança na comunicação social | Deixe um comentário
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Olivia Arthur Sophia, Scottish of Irish-Pakistani heritage, Glasgow, Scotland. GB. 2017. © Olivia Arthur | Magnum Photos

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Magnum Retold: Olivia Arthur’s Children of Europe

How collaborating on portraits makes for a refreshing take on the experience of child refugees

In the aftermath of the Second World War, Magnum co-founder David ‘Chim’ Seymour traveled across Europe as refugees traversed its fractured lands. With a humanistic sensibility, he documented the lives of child survivors and the efforts of the charities who endeavored to help them, providing them with food, shelter, shoes and vaccinations. His journey took him to refugee camps, homes, schools hospitals and remote villages blighted by war, creating a comprehensive portrait of the human impact of the war on society’s youngest and most vulnerable members.

As part of Magnum Retold – a series where contemporary Magnum photographers find inspiration in some of the most resonating stories in the agency’s 70-year history – Olivia Arthur documented the lives of child refugees of today. As the world witnesses the largest number of displaced people since the Second World War, a natural parallel with Seymour’s is drawn.

Working with charity Positive Action in Housing, Olivia Arthur met children and their families settling in Glasgow and London. Her portraits presented an opportunity to take stock of Europe’s shift in attitude towards refugees in the decades since David Seymour’s original Children of Europe work. “What interested me most was this idea of how much things have changed since then, rather than trying to replicate or retrace what he had done but more kind of looking at how much things in Europe have changed, and may, in fact, be turning around again,” says Arthur.

“Sadly, there are more people displaced around the world than at any time since the Second World War,” says Robina Qureshi from Positive Action in Housing. “Today’s refugee tragedy is characterized by indifference. Over half the world’s refugees have been in exile for at least five years, many in closed refugee camps where they do not have the right to work or move freely.  The press doesn’t call them refugees anymore, they use the word ‘migrants’, implying that this is a story about travelers or economic migrants, not humans seeking protection.”

The refugee families photographed by Olivia Arthur left behind their loved ones and their homes. Many are still traumatized by the journeys they took and experience problems finding their way and becoming accepted in their new home cities. Positive Action in Housing helps refugees deal with the stumbling blocks to citizenship and provides support.

Olivia Arthur’s portraits look beyond the refugee status of her subjects, and aim to capture the children as individuals. “I’d like to think that the portraits I’ve taken of these children are pretty positive. The pictures were really about the children, and they would choose if they wanted to have their toy in the picture.”

“I think there’s something about this kind of portraiture where you really engage with people properly. It’s not a documentary about people stuck in a big system in these apartments that are not really like a home. They mostly don’t have a lot of belongings there, and they don’t really make them like home because they’re waiting to get their status. So it really became more about what the people wanted to show themselves.”

Arthur invited her subjects to direct how they would like to appear in photographs, asking them what they wanted to do, which resulted in children being photographed with their favorite toy or teddy bear, playing with friends and doing cartwheels. The process felt collaborative and inclusive, and shattered clichés pertaining to how refugees are ordinarily presented in the press. “I found a really positive energy there with them,” says Arthur. “One of the girls that I met said, ‘I love Glasgow, I love it here, I love the rain’ and it was just amazing positivity that I thought was really great.”




As crianças nas nossas cidades estão a ser roubadas de lugares seguros para brincar

Janeiro 19, 2015 às 12:00 pm | Publicado em A criança na comunicação social | Deixe um comentário
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artigo do  de 6 de janeiro de 2014.

Andrzej Krause

Children in our towns and cities are being robbed of safe spaces to play

We’re plagued by joyless developments that destroy the essence of community: chances for young people to gather and play

George Monbiot

Where do the children play? Where can they run around unsupervised? On most of the housing estates I visit, the answer is hardly anywhere.

A community not built around children is no community at all. A place that functions socially is one in which they are drawn to play outdoors.

As Jay Griffiths argues in her heartrending book Kith, children fill the “unoccupied territories”, the spaces not controlled by tidy-minded adults, “the commons of mud, moss, roots and grass”. But such places are being purged from the land and their lives.

“Today’s children are enclosed in school and home, enclosed in cars to shuttle between them, enclosed by fear, by surveillance and poverty and enclosed in rigid schedules of time.” Since the 1970s the area in which children roam without adults has decreased by almost 90%. “Childhood is losing its commons.”

Given all that we know about the physical and psychological impacts of this confinement, you would expect the authorities to ensure that the remaining 10% of their diminished range is designed to draw children out of their homes. Yet almost everywhere they are designed out. Housing estates are built on the playing fields and rough patches children used to inhabit, and offer almost nothing in return.

In the government’s masterplan for England, the national planning policy framework, children are mentioned only twice: in a catalogue of housing types. In parliament’s review of these plans, they aren’t mentioned at all. Young people, around whom our lives should revolve, have been airbrushed from the planning system.

I spent Monday wandering around the new and newish housing developments on the east side of Northampton. I chose this area because the estates here are spacious and mostly built for families: in other words, there is no possible excuse for excluding young people.

In the places built 10 or 20 years ago, there is plenty of shared space, but almost all of it is allocated to cars. (You can see the photos on my website.) Grass is confined to the roundabouts or to coffin-like gardens, in which you can’t turn a cartwheel without hitting the fence. I came across one exception – a street with wide grass verges. But they sloped towards the road: dangerous and useless, a perfect waste of space.

This land of missed opportunities, designed by people without a spark of joy in their hearts, reifies the idea that there is no such thing as society. Had you set out to ensure that children were neither seen nor heard, you could not have done a better job. On the last day of the holidays, which was warm and dry, across four estates I saw only one child.

By comparison, the Cherry Orchard estate just completed by Bellway Homes is a children’s paradise. But only by comparison. Next to the primary school, with plenty of three- and four-bedroom houses, it is designed to appeal to young families. But in the middle of the development, where a village green might have been, there’s a strange grassy sump, surrounded by a low fence. It’s an empty balancing pond, to catch water during exceptional floods. Remove the fence, plant it with trees, throw in some rocks and logs, and you’d have a rough and mossy playground. But no such thing was in the plans.

Other shared spaces on the estate have the charming ambience of a prison yard: paved and surrounded by garden fences almost nine feet high. There were a few children outdoors but they seemed pressed to the edges, sitting in doorways or leaning on fences. Children don’t buy houses, so who cares?

Throughout the country, they become prisoners of bad design, and so do adults. Without safe and engaging places in which they can come together, no tribe forms. So parents must play the games that children would otherwise play among themselves, and everyone is bored to tears.

The exclusion of children arises from the same pathology that denies us decent housing. In the name of market freedom, the volume housebuilders, sitting on their land banks, are free to preside over speculative chaos, while we are free to buy dog kennels priced like palaces in placeless estates so badly designed that community is dead on arrival. Many want to design and build their own homes, but almost no plots are available, as the big builders have seized them.

In Scotland the government is considering compulsory sale orders, which would pull down prices – essential when the speculative price of land has risen from 2% of the cost of a home in the 1930s to 70% today. A national housing land corporation would assemble the sites and supply the infrastructure, then sell plots to community groups, housing associations and people who want to build their own.

It goes far beyond England’s feeble community right-to-build measures, which lack the muscular facilitation that only public authorities can provide. But it’s still not far enough.

What if people were entitled to buy an option for a plot on a new estate, which they would then help to plan? Not just the houses, but the entire estate would be built for and by those who would live there. The council or land corporation would specify the number and type of homes, then the future residents – including people on the social housing waiting list – would design the layout. Their children would help to create the public spaces. Communities would start to form even before people moved in, and the estates would doubtless look nothing like those built today.

To the Westminster government, this probably sounds like communism. But as countries elsewhere in Europe have found, we don’t need volume house builders, except to construct high-rises. They do not assist the provision of decent, affordable homes. They impede it. What is good for them is bad for us.

Bellway, its brochure reveals, asked children at the neighbouring primary school to paint a picture of a cherry orchard, and displayed the winning entries in its show home. “Why not pop over to say hello, view our wonderful development and sneak a peek?”, it asks. That’s the role the children were given: helping the company to sell the houses it had already built.

Why can’t we shape the places that shape our lives?





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