Falmouth High School is at it again. On Friday, April 5, the school will host an art exhibit entitled “The Power of Grace Rising from Genocide” in Portland, Maine.
You may remember this high school from two of our previous blogs. For the past two years, the school created similar art exhibits that educated more than 500 people about the Darfur genocide. However, these activists are not only interested in art. For one student, the artwork inspired her to do more.
Last October, Geneva Waite, a Falmouth High School senior, organized a hike up Bradbury Mountain to raise money for United to End Genocide and the Fur Cultural Revival. “I had become attached to the emotions and message I was trying to convey through my artwork that I wanted to do something more tangible (even though art does has its tangible aspects) compared to an abstract emotion or thought that would be evoked and translated into a different perspective or belief,” Geneva said.
El-Fadel Arbab, who was part of the inspiration for the previous art exhibits, attended the hike and brought his friend and fellow Darfurian Sadik Adam. The students were familiar with El-Fadel and knew he had escaped the genocide in Darfur. Quickly, the students also learned Sadik’s story.
“El-Fadel told us that Sadik had lost his entire circle of family and friends to a genocidal attack on his village and had been severely depressed ever since he had come to Maine because of this tragic loss,” Geneva said. “He he hadn’t really come out of his room, or really did anything for the five months that he had been here from pure sadness.”
After the hike, Geneva received a call from Holly MacEwan, the Service Learning Coordinator of Falmouth Public School who had recently spoken to El-Fadel. He told Holly that “Sadik explained to him that the day he spent with us hiking was the happiest he had been since he had come to Maine because he felt like he had found a circle of family and friends again and that he would keep the beautiful view from the summits of the mountain in his heart forever,” Geneva said. “I was totally speechless and never expected such an amazing outcome from the hike.”
For 2013, the students are working on the One Million Bones project and preparing for their art exhibit which will depict the beauty and tragedy of the genocide in Darfur and other genocides that have happened around the world. The Pihcintu Multicultural Chorus, made up of immigrant children from around the globe who have suffered through war, famine, refugee camps and so on, will be performing at the event on April 5. All donations will be going to United to End Genocide, the Enough Project and the Fur Cultural Revival.