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Action Painting Anidan Orphanage, Lamu, 2012   Nalovi-Willert
The Anidan orphanage was founded in 2002 by Rafael Selas, a visiting Spaniard. Today, this haven on Lamu’s northern coast cares for and educates about two hundred children, half of whom live in the shelter on site. Many of the children were physically or sexually abused before they got to the orphanage. This aspect of their biographies was especially resonant with Lili since she had previously made art around the theme of sexual abuse. “I had worked before to raise awareness of these terrible things, and it was very hard,” Lili says. “At Anidan it was beautiful to see these kids who had suffered having fun and expressing themselves.” “The painting is a bridge,” Jesko says, “for the kids, for the teachers, for us – and sometimes even beyond. We all cross and meet somewhere else through the process. I think it’s important for the kids to realize that learning can also be like this! Fun! Free! Not just technical, not just language-based.” Giving kids that insight is the most precious thing. “It’s just a moment,” Jesko acknowledges, “but it’s a moment that can change a life.” (Priya Basil)
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