Illuminating Fragments of Art

Migration & Asylum Project
20.02.18 11:43 AM Comment(s)

A collection of artworks by refugee children, created and completed in our office.   

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. – Pablo Picasso

Here at M.A.P., we provide legal representation to clients who are currently in the process of securing refugee status through the UNHCR. Often this requires conducting interviews with each claimant in order to help formulate their respective cases in a coherent manner. Clients often bring their children along who wait in our office while their family members talk to our lawyers about their case.


In order to keep them engaged in a constructive manner as well as bring some fun and positivity to the time they spend in our office, we started giving them pieces of paper and colours. We asked them to express what they like about India through their drawings. Leaping at the chance to use their creativity and pleased to dwell on happier memories, the children drew for us some unexpected and truly heart-warming images that we would love to share beyond the walls of our office.


Children often remind us of innocence and simplicity but these children have also lived through hardships that most of us cannot even imagine. Art often acts as a response, an outlet and a catharsis for those who may not even know the words to express what they feel. However, even this small form of communication is usually denied these children as their parents struggle on a day-to-day basis to rebuild their lives while being caught in a political limbo. 


We were astounded by the variety of images that were sketched in our office over the weeks. Children absorb much more than expected in terms of the challenges, and hardships they find themselves in— a heart-breaking thought. Yet, the coloured sketches that were left behind in our office depicted flags, festivals (Holi, Christmas, Diwali), butterflies and stars. The drawings brimmed with compassionate and innately humane ideals that clearly, no political manifestations can deface.

by Tanya Gupta & Kalyani Nedungadi

Photo Credit: Tanya Gupta & Kalyani Nedungadi