This Monday, Triple Exposure welcomed several new and returning students to its art and photography classes. Students met their classmates, introduced themselves, went on a competitive scavenger hunt to photograph all the objects on lists I distributed, reviewed concepts learned in previous classes, and took photographs to be put in a “time capsule” and returned to them only at the end of the semester.
Like other TYO programs, Triple Exposure students come from all over Nablus, including the city’s four refugee camps: Balata, New Askar, Old Askar, and Al Ein. Opportunities for creative and emotional expression are often limited in these camps and areas like the Old City and Khallet Al Amood, due to the fact that most schools do not have art departments or programs for learning through play. To address this issue, Triple Exposure is providing a place for children to explore their creative side, express themselves through different media, and share snapshots of their worlds with others.
Having a creative outlet allows students to discover new skills and interests. In Triple Exposure’s basic art class, for example, Alaa, age 11, did not want to participate in a classroom activity that involved tracing her hand and drawing within the outline. She insisted, sadly, that she didn’t have any artistic skills. After encouragement from art teacher Rimah, however, Alaa not only completed the drawing assignment, but also displayed a talent for art that surprised even herself. Her drawing now hangs on the art room wall and Alaa is eager to be back at TYO for the next class.