The Harn Museum By Ben Bates

Medium of the Art/ Technique of the Artists

This photo is a part of the Aftermath of War exhibit, which I was particularly fascinated by. Although it is difficult to see in my picture, this artwork depicts people walking across the land. These people are supposed to be Syrian refugees who were forced to flee their country and their home. This medium of movement within the artwork stood out to me compared to the rest of the artwork at the Harn. By witnessing these refugees actually moving across the photograph, I was able to almost put myself in their shoes. The piece made me feel a large degree of empathy for the refugees, as those walking in the photo are surrounded by desert, with nothing but what they can carry.

Design of the Museum

This photo of me was taken in the Aftermath of War exhibit, which is the first section of the museum that I looked at. The layout of this part of the museum was similar to a circular maze, taking me deeper and making me lost. I think this maze-like design was created to add to the emotions one feels when looking at these photos of war. I began to feel lost and uncomfortable as I got deeper into the maze, which are the same emotions I felt when viewing some of these photos depicting the chaos of war.

Art and Core Values

This photo symbolizes the human emotions of love and fear. This photograph is meant to juxtapose the beautiful scenery of Syria with the destruction caused by the Syrian Civil War. Thus, I believe this photo also represents two opposing side of the human condition. One side fears cultural differences with others. They believe chaos and war are necessary in the complexity of this world. The other side, represented by the stunning scenery, is representative of the view of the world that we must strive for. We must aim for peace and an end to war. We must learn to love not only our neighbor, but to have empathy for all human beings, as we are part of one human family.

Art and the Goodlife

This photo is quite representative of 'fighting of the goodlife'. This is one of the first photographs I saw when walking into the exhibit and I was immediately entranced by the subject’s piercing blue eyes. Her name is Yasmine and she is a Syrian refugee currently living in Beirut, Lebanon. She is selling flowers and shining shoes in order to make some money for her families. Her stance humanizes her, as it appears as if she is trying to communicate that she is doing okay after suffering serious hardship. When I first looked at this photo I felt a large degree of empathy and sadness. Yasmine is one of 1.5 million Syrian refugee children now in Lebanon. At the age of 13, Yasmine had to leave her entire life in Syria amidst war and destruction. All I could think while staring at her hopeful eyes was that this girl has already seen so much at such a young age. It also struck me how profoundly different my life is to Yasmine and how strong she must be to continue pushing through. I believe Yasmine is currently fighting for the good life because although she has lost almost everything and has started a completely new life, she is fighting to find a new, happy life in a completely different country.

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