GRAZ, Austria, 8th May 2017
Fabian Rogatschnig, a former SB Overseas volunteer, organized a unique and powerful photo exhibition, Changing Perspectives: Seeing through the eyes of Syrian refugees, which illustrates the reality of Syrian refugees in Lebanon through the lens of 12 adolescent refugee girls. Fabian volunteered for SB Overseas in Saida from January to March 2017. Together with 12 young refugee girls he conducted a series of workshops on how to use a camera and gave every girl the opportunity to document her life as a refugee in Saida via photos. A selection of these photos was displayed in the Mariahilfer Church, Graz, Austria, during the Lendwirbel Festival from April 30th until May 7th.
The compelling photos gave the visitors of the exhibition insights into the personal life of the refugee girls, including the living conditions in the Shatila refugee camp and the needs, the dreams, and the hopes of these young refugees. Fabian had also motivated the girls to talk about their experiences as refugees in Lebanon though writing and displayed 15 written texts during the photo exposition. In total, 48 photos were exhibited on a 12-meter long wall in the church.
The setting and the surrounding mixed perfectly with the theme of the exhibition. While the Lendwirbel Street Festival was more of a light hearted and easy going environment the exhibition set just next to it made a strong but thought-provoking contrast. Located on the main pedestrian street of the festival, a sign in front of the church invited people to visit the exhibition. Fabian, alongside Zenia Lewis, another SB Overseas volunteer, answered questions, introduced SB Overseas to the visitors, raised some funds, and talked about the situation in Shatila. The feedback he received was really positive and many visitors asked for more information about the project as well as SB Overseas. In total, Fabian was able to raise €122 for SB Overseas.