War Toys
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Travelog

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Travelog

Chronicling the process behind WAR-TOYS from the perspective of toy photographer Brian McCarty.

Index of posts by category:

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Posts tagged war
Young Refugee's "Bad" and "Good" Cities

On March 3rd, Art Therapist Myra Saad (Artichoke Studio) and I returned to the Kayany Foundation's Malala Yousafzai School near the eastern border of Lebanon. We worked with a mixed-gender group of children (8-12 years old) and picked up where we left off in the previous session. It had ended with the children collaboratively designing an idealized "good" city. However, when put to a vote, they decided that it would be better to construct a "bad" city first, then rebuild on top of it the next time we met. 

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Tripoli / Last Day in Beirut

I was advised that the security situation in Tripoli was still too volatile to attempt photographing within affected areas of the city. Pulling out a camera in the wrong neighborhood, let alone attempting a toy setup, could cause trouble quickly and with little warning. 

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Syrian Refugees / Kayany Foundation

Even after extending my stay in Lebanon, I decided that there wasn't enough time to gather and articulate accounts from all of the various refugee and local populations affected by war. Lebanon is at the crossroads of so many conflicts that it's going to take multiple trips to represent the perspectives of Iraqi, Syrian, Kurdish, Palestinian, and Lebanese children. For now, I chose to focus the majority of my remaining stay on Syrian children living in refugee camps in the Bekaa Valley. 

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Tripoli / Nader Association

Over the last several years, Art Therapist Myra Saad has worked with boys at the Nader Association for Deliquent Enfant Rehabilitation in northern Lebanon. The center gives at-risk and marginalized boys a chance at normalcy, often their last chance. Many come from the streets and highly abusive environments. Some have witnessed and even participated in the ongoing fighting between Sunni and Alawite Muslim residents of the nearby city of Tripoli. Nader equally welcomes boys from both sides of the conflict, encouraging them to break centuries-old patterns of hatred.

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Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

On November 19th I traveled with art therapist Myra Saad and Kayany Foundation representative Firas Suqi to the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. Situated there on land rented from local farmers are a series of tent encampments housing recent Syrian refugees. Although a relatively new foundation, Kayany is only days away from opening its third school in the region. It's a remarkable accomplishment, providing direct benefit to children, many of whom haven't been inside a classroom for up to three years.

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