THE BeeHome Academy IS A PLATFORM, INITIATED BY THE HOPE FOUNDATION WITH THE AIM TO STIMULATE CHILDREN TO DEVELOP AND EXPRESS THEMSELVES THROUGH THE ARTS.
WHY THIS PLATFORM
War is a recurring phenomenon. It has a devastating effect on people and their culture. BeeHome attempts to reduce the negative effects of war and contribute to a process that activates children and their surroundings, while enabling them to search for a meaningful life in order to survive.
The arts are able to activate the imagination and sharpen the mind. This creates the conditions for an increased sense of self-respect and self-confidence and can contribute to a reduction of fear and a higher sense of security. People with self-confidence and self-respect are better equipped to take positive decisions in life.
We also wanted to develop a project that allows us to contribute to the protection of the culture, its stories and its habits; to protect it from extinction, a common consequence of broken-up communities.
In 2017 these ideas developed into a digital art project that aims to inspire older children and their caretakers in refugee camps all over the world to initiate activities with (groups of) children, allowing them to gain something in the process.
THE DEMOCRATIZING EFFECT OF TECHNIQUE:
The only material you need is a smartphone. Today nearly everyone has a smartphone and for refugees these phones have literally become lifelines. Smartphones hold almost endless possibilities and give access to an almost inexhaustible source of knowledge. It is this feature that we would like to use for coaching the children and exposing them to all imaginable possibilities for developing knowledge and skills and reaching out to professionals all over the world. This is the democratizing effect of technique.
Inviting the children to produce and share their own photos and videos is also part of a learning curve for the makers.
HOW DOES THE BeeHome Academy WORK?
On the BeeHome Academy website you will find instruction videos developed in collaboration with artists and children in Gaza, Syria and the Netherlands. All videos introduce artistic themes that are based on traditional stories from the region. By telling these stories in a new form we are helping to preserving the local culture.
The educational material provides an insight into the processes of creation, implementation and making connections with professional artists. The children will be informed about positive developments in the world through the arts and games.
For participating in the lessons shown in the videos, the children will only need materials that are likely to be found in the camps. In the videos they will find suggestions on how to make a shadow theatre, how to use their bodies, how to make music and how to make art with their bodies or with recycled materials from their immediate surroundings; after all, a lack of materials should never cause the absence of projects or lessons.
And last, but by no means least: learning and creating are supposed to be fun! We hope that the BeeHome Academy will bring many smiles to many faces all over the globe.
Ingrid is a visual artist and one of the founders of the Hope Foundation. Because she has been director of the Free Academy, Workplace for Visual Arts in The Hague for 7 years, she has a large network of artists and theorists. She has been visiting Gaza regularly since 1996 and connects people inside and outside of Gaza. She brings renowned artists from the Netherlands to Gaza for an exchange of experiences, and she gives lessons to young adults in the Netherlands using the life in Gaza as a starting point. Ingrid also collaborates with Hope's treasurer to generate grants and donations.
Suzanne is a visual artist who creates workshops and films both with the children in Gaza as in her hometown (Brussels). She visits the Open Studio in Gaza regularly and sometimes for longer periods. By spending more time there, and studying Arabic, she is able to have a close collaboration with the local team, a better understanding of the situation in Gaza and time to develop more intricate projects with the children. While being in Brussels, she keeps regular contact with the team in Gaza by exchanging ideas, experiences and inspiration.
Also she is co-creator and admin of the BeeHomeAcademy website.
Rosh is a filmmaker who works for HOPE in a refugee camp in Katwijk. There he works with children on films, objects and music from waste material. Rosh and Suzanne work on the same concept but of course make very different films and artworks. Rosh speaks Arabic, Kurdish, English and Dutch which helps enormously in the communication with the children. As soon as possible Rosh will also work in the camps in Syria. As director of the Arab Film Festival he ensures that the films made by and for children are distributed in the Arab world. Like e.g. the Film Festival in Amman, Beirut and Rotterdam.
Ingrid, Suzanne and Rosh together come up with the concepts for workshops and films. They combine their experiences and, in this way, inspire each other, learn from each other and keep up the courage to continue!
Project BeeHome is an initiative of the Holland Office for Personal Encouragement in close collaboration with the PRCS (Palestinian Red Crescent Society), the Open Studio in Khan Younis Gaza and is generously supported by The Dutch Red Cross, Groenendijk-Clemensfonds and private donations.
The PRCS and the Red Cross will help us make the BeeHome Academy accessible to the public.
To find out more about the Hope Foundation and the team behind the BeeHome Academy, please visit