I’m not so different from students my age. I like skiing, going to the beach and hanging out with my friends. But I also love art, and for the past year, I’ve been using the beauty of art to protest genocide.
One year ago, El-Fadel Arbab came to my art class at Falmouth High School to share his experience of losing all of his family and friends in an attack on his village in Darfur. It was the kind of story that doesn’t ever leave you.
I was amazed that he’d witness the worst of humanity and was still such a kind and trusting person. My classmates and I decided we could use art to educate our peers and the larger community about what happened to El-Fadel and to the people of Darfur.
A year later, we’ve just held our second art exhibit, “The Power of Grace Rising from Genocide.” I was so honored to be able to share my piece and to know that our efforts were increasing awareness and were also raising funds for organizations like United to End Genocide, who are actively fighting to end genocide.
I wanted my art to not only tell El-Fadel’s story, but also to tell the stories of all courageous survivors who have experienced terrible atrocities throughout the world.
To contrast the beauty of these survivors, I put them next to the people who carried out unspeakable evils. I wanted to show that these terrible things have not just happened once, but have repeatedly occurred. And far too often, action is taken too late for so many.
This is the first time that I feel like I am a part of something bigger. I’m asking that you join me in the fight to end genocide and atrocities worldwide.
People on this planet, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity or religion, need to love and protect each other.
That’s one of the reasons why my classmates and I support United to End Genocide. This organization takes action to raise awareness and make a difference in people’s lives. It helps create a community of people who care and who are willing to demand change. There are still mountains to be moved, and United to End Genocide is up for the challenge. I hope you’ll stand with us as we continue to push for a future without genocide.