This charity scheme aims to help both children in the UK and in refugee camps in Europe feel linked to one another, through a connected drawing experience. Art Bus consists of two corresponding digital drawing buses, one travelling around UK schools and one travelling around refugee camps in Europe. These buses have been converted to have large connected digital drawing walls, that means every drawing made in one bus will appear in the other. This allows children to draw and create together in real time, from across the world.
You can view an animation explaining the idea below.
This charity has two goals.
Firstly, educating UK children about refugees and helping them form a dialogue with any refugee they may meet. In turn, for child refugees in the UK joining a new school/community, they will feel less socially isolated as children will be more engaged with their background.
Secondly, for children in refugee camps, they can use the space as a form of escapism to counteract loneliness. Within the bus, they are able to interact with other children both in their own workshop and across the world. The normality of playing and socializing with other children, coupled with the magic of seeing images appearing from around the world, can help to tackle loneliness they experience.
The interactive, drawing buses can be changed and adapted with every workshop. An example of one workshop could be learning about and connecting to refugees home countries.
For this workshop, the interactive drawing buses would show different murals, each representing different cultures from the most common home countries of refugees, which include Syria, Sudan and Myanmar. The workshop begins by letting children play and select each element of every mural to learn about it’s connection to the culture. This information can be translated for the different dialects of refugees. Then the collages adapt to create a drawing space, where they can draw together from different locations.
The two interactions have different benefits for children in the UK and children in refugee camps. For children in the UK, it is a chance to discover new cultures, to become more understanding and more engaged with child refugees they may meet. For children in refugee camps, they are able to have a form of escapism, a chance to connect with new friends, and to feel linked to their home country again.