DepART (UC Berkeley)

Team Members: Dafna Bearson, Victoria Torres

School: UC Berkeley

Big Ideas LogoThree-year-old Alan lying face down on the shore of the Mediterranean has become the iconic photograph of the Syrian refugee crisis. Photography and visual art are powerful and universal tools to foster human-to-human connection. Through partnerships with aid organizations permanently working in refugee camps, DepArt facilitates art workshops and the flow of art supplies into refugee camps in Greece. DepArt then connects refugee artists via mobile phone to a central online platform, through which they can digitize and publicize their art, find mentors and sponsors, and make their work visible to large-scale audiences. Furthermore, the online platform facilitates the buying and selling of refugee art. This model not only encourages art as a constructive tool for self-expression, but also connects refugees to a global marketplace. Finally, the spread of refugee art will increase the global community’s exposure to the refugee crisis.