Why did I start this project?
The short answer: 65,600,000 people and counting... displaced.
The logic seems indisputable: artists/artisans/craftsmen practice skills that so often define the culture from which they came. Music, dance, culinary arts, fine arts, craftsmanship...
What would happen if an entire generation of any one culture got interrupted, uprooted, forced to run for their lives?
This is happening. Through no fault of their own, families are spending decades not simply homeless, but stateless. Stripped of their culture. The "lucky" survivors who manage to attain resettlement in other countries and regions are met with unimaginable challenges and constant scrutiny.
Art becomes the lowest priority. The first thing to go, the last thing to return to. Any physical artifacts left behind are often stolen, damaged, burned, bombed. The music stops. The heart loses its will to dance.
In another two decades, what will be left of these once thriving cultures? We will likely be able to look back and count the number of humans we were able to save or not save, but what of the cultures? That tangible-intangible force that forms the identity, the collective spirit of a people - gone.
Can rules or tutors educate
The semigod whom we await?
He must be musical,
Alive to gentle influence
Of landscape and of sky,
And tender to the spirit-touch
Of man's or maiden's eye:
But, to his native centre fast,
Shall into Future fuse the Past,
And the world's flowing fates in his own mould recast.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
When our humanity is slipping away, how can we not drop everything else to grasp for it?