Pub­lished on November 17, 2017
Esti­mate 4 minutes read­ing

We met with a group of Syr­i­an and Iran­ian refugee artists at the Vila Café in Athens.

We met with a group of Syr­i­an and Iran­ian refugee artists at the Vila Café in Athens, Greece, to intro­duce our­selves and dis­cuss the jour­ney behind their music and art. Hus­sein Bad­ran showed us some exam­ples of the art he made, includ­ing a hyper-real­is­tic, expe­ri­en­tial depic­tion of the tent that was his home in a refugee camp when he first arrived in Europe. He showed us a sur­re­al­ist mur­al that he paint­ed in five days, work­ing from sev­en in the morn­ing to five in the evening, sym­bol­iz­ing his endeav­ors from the chaos of Syr­ia towards peace and growth. Now he is work­ing on devel­op­ing a more naïve style of express­ing the strug­gles of war in paint. Mehrdad Mehrabpour, anoth­er artist, and an Iran­ian refugee, was very eager to show us exam­ples of his more vis­cer­al, intu­itive art, depict­ing dai­ly life in Iran and the camps. He car­ried his draw­ings with him in his back­pack and showed us a port­fo­lio of an art show that he had par­tic­i­pat­ed in recent­ly. Both he and Hus­sein are accom­plished musi­cians, play­ing in a folk­loric tra­di­tion, and endeav­or­ing to car­ry it to the peo­ples of Europe. Hus­sein told us that he and anoth­er musi­cian were work­ing on incor­po­rat­ing Dabkke, a tra­di­tion­al Syr­i­an folk­loric dance, with hip-hop. They were very excit­ed to speak with us about their musi­cal route and explore plans to meet with oth­er musi­cians liv­ing in the refugee camps of Athens. They knew of a DIY music stu­dio in the camps, in the tem­po­rary hous­ing con­tain­ers where the pro­duc­er lives with his fam­i­ly. We will be meet­ing with Hus­sein tomor­row morn­ing to vis­it Mer­hdad in the camp where he lives with his fam­i­ly. We are look­ing for­ward to learn­ing more about them, the jour­ney continues!