Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Here are a few drawings made by some Georgian students that my organization works with (you can click on the photos to make them larger). We had a big event planned that was overshadowed by the tragedy just up the road from them in Beslan. The victims were kids their own age, starting up the school year just like them, just on the other side of South Ossetia. This is a serious boogie man, and I'm always amazed by the honesty of children's drawings.

This first drawing shows the WTC towers under attack on the left, and on the right we have Beslan. In between, hands shaking in partnership. I think the prominence of Beslan = 9/11 is probably the product of some coaching from the news and from adults. But the drawings of the WTC, I think, show that this is pretty deeply burned into their psyches. Drawings by kids always seem to dwell on the horrific and gory. We tend to assume this is because kids are fascinated by horrific gore. Which, I suppose, is true. But look at the detail of people falling out of buildings. This is something that is very hard for us to talk about. This child zoomed in on this detail. I don't think it is because he is fascinated with catastrophe; I think it is because this is the awful image that is in his mind. Kids don't filter out these things we do. They don't draw with euphemism. They don't try to make things polite. Why are some people red? What is the green stuff coming out of the cop cars? Why are the shooters in the Beslan drawing red? Wish I was there to ask.

This little guy. If his face doesn't just melt your heart, you don't have one.



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