TURKEY / SYRIAN REFUGEE ARTIST

Preview Language:   Original
14-Apr-2021 00:02:09
Syrian artist Akram Safvan’s story is one of art, perseverance and dedication. He shared his story of building a life in Turkey after the Syrian conflict forced him to leave behind his home and his art. UNHCR

Available Language: Arabic
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Description
STORY: TURKEY / SYRIAN ARTIST REFUGEE
TRT: 2:09
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNHCR ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / NATS

DATELINE: 26 MARCH 2021, SANHURFA, TURKEY

SHOTLIST:

1.Med shot, tilt down to Akram working on a piece
2. Close up, Akram working on a piece
3. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Akram, Syrian artist:
“I try to embody my pain, and the pain of my community in Syriaand, in general, the suffering of the world through war.”
4. Wide shot, pan to Akram sitting at his work table
5. Close up, Akram’s hands
6. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Akram, Syrian artist:
“I was born into an artistic family. A family of poets, storytellers and dramatists. I painted for 30 years and then I started getting into sculpture.”
7. Med shot, Akram hammering a wood chipping tool at his work table
8. Close up, the wood chipping tool
9. Wide shot, Akram walking with the city in the background
10. Various shots, Akram sitting in a park working a piece
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Akram, Syrian artist:
“In Turkey, I have space for expression because of what is happening in Syria I cannot go back.”
12. Various shots, Akram looking and touching the wall of his workshop
13. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Akram, Syrian artist:
“Before I left Deir Ezzor, I buried my work beneath the ground of my studio. And I carried with me a bag of soil. Whenever I miss my country, I try to feel the scent of my homeland through it.”
14. Various shots, Akrams hands touching the soil from back home
15. Various shots, Akram entering his workshop
16. Wide shot, Akram inside his workshop looking at his work
17. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Akram, Syrian artist:
“Perhaps fate willed me to be a sculptor. I study the depth of sadness. It is the sadness of the world at war. I am not talking only about war in Syria but war in general. I hope that peace prevails in my country and around the world.”
18. Various shots, Akram having tea, sitting dwon inside his workshop

STORYLINE:

Turkey is home to the world’s largest refugee population, 3.6 million of whom are Syrian under temporary protection and close to 330,000 of whom are refugees and asylum-seekers of other nationalities. Over 98 per cent of refugees in Turkey live among the host community, and less than 2 per cent are in Temporary Accommodation Centres. Turkey’s refugee response is based on a comprehensive legal framework, in particular the Law on Foreigners and International Protection (2013) and the Temporary Protection Regulation (2014).

Akram Safvan is also one of the Syrians under temporary protection living in Şanlıurfa, Turkey. He comes from a family of poets and artists. He started to sculpt and paint when he was a child. He recalls winning school art competitions and even opening his own art gallery when he was just 10 years old.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Akram, Syrian artist:
“I try to embody my pain, and the pain of my community in Syriaand, in general, the suffering of the world through war.”

In Syria, Akram was already an established artist when the conflict began. Then his life changed. At first, he planned to remain home and not abandon his art which carried his life’s work. When he was forced to leave in 2016, he arrived in Turkey from Deir Ezzor and his family - a daughter and two sons - joined him in 2017.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Akram, Syrian artist:
“I was born into an artistic family. A family of poets, storytellers and dramatists. I painted for 30 years and then I started getting into sculpture.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Akram, Syrian artist:
“In Turkey, I have space for expression because of what is happening in Syria I cannot go back.”

Sensing he may never return to Syria, Akram was obliged to leave his work behind. He buried some of his paintings hoping they may not be found. He found out later that his gallery was destroyed, and his artwork confiscated. Akram is thankful to be alive. Now in Turkey, Akram found new space and means to work, both to make a living and to continue producing art. He received an invitation to meet the Turkish inister of Culture. He says he has exhibited his art in four shows since coming to Turkey. He has also received positive reactions from his Turkish peers.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Akram, Syrian artist:
“Before I left Deir Ezzor, I buried my work beneath the ground of my studio. And I carried with me a bag of soil. Whenever I miss my country, I try to feel the scent of my homeland through it.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Akram, Syrian artist:
“Perhaps fate willed me to be a sculptor. I study the depth of sadness. It is the sadness of the world at war. I am not talking only about war in Syria but war in general. I hope that peace prevails in my country and around the world.”
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UNHCR
Alternate Title
unifeed210414b
Asset ID
2612406