Art exhibition by internally displaced kids steals hearts


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By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Nov 13: In the backdrop of the present crisis, ‘Yening – I’, an art exhibition by internally displaced children at Books & Coffee, Imphal portrays viewpoints which present a sharp contrast to the violent nature of human beings.
Note cards labelled “War is a game of foolish psychopath”, “Life in Relief Camp” and “We are all friends, we live together” were among the art works designed by the internally displaced children who have been taking refuge at Kwakta Santhong of Bishnupur district.
Many other paintings that depict the calm and peaceful atmosphere of nature adorned the 2nd floor of Books & Coffee. Some of the art works have also been tagged ‘sold’.
Aheibam Borish, a teenger from Phougakchao Ikhai Mamang Leikai who painted a landscape with a kutcha house standing in a serene place shared that his artwork was a depiction of his mind.
Continuing that he and his family have been staying in a relief camp at Moirang since the day his village was attacked by Kuki militants on May 4, this internally displaced teen asserted that he has been longing for a peaceful environment where he can stay safe and sound along with his family.
Informing that his father has been engaged in guarding his village while his remaining family members are staying in the relief camp, Borish went on to maintain that his parents have always refused to take him home as the area has been under frequent attack since the beginning of the ongoing crisis.
The student who is set to appear for his Class 12 examination conducted by the Council of Higher Secondary Education next year added that he does not find a conducive atmosphere for studying in the relief camp.
Keithelakpam Sailesh, a trainer at ‘Arts On’, responsible for organising the exhibition, said that the exhibition was conducted with the sole aim to enhance the artistic passion of the internally displaced children and to extract their idealistic line of artistic thoughts.
He expressed hope that such an event could go a long way in relieving their pain and infusing refreshing thoughts and hope into the internally displaced children.
Kumam Davidson, founder of Matai Society who supported the exhibition conveyed that the Society has been taking up certain specific activities in the form of trauma response works for children and youth in some relief camps since the past six months.
Stating that the activities include regular activities related to music, art, sports and recreational activities besides studies, he asserted that a lot of changes can be seen among the children in relief camps although they were very reluctant to respond to the activities in the initial stages.
He added that few organizations and individuals, including those from outside the State, who have been specifically trained for trauma response work are being engaged in the initiative.