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Malek Ossi writes about DiplomArt - Akademie - Kunsthalle Zürich

Malek Ossi writes about DiplomArt

Malek Ossi came to Switzerland from Syria at the end of 2015. In addition to his journalistic work, he is politically active and is currently training to become a social worker. We were able to bring him on board as an expert for DiplomArt, and not only as a translator. Here he writes about his experience:

When I was asked to participate in DiplomArt, I was not sure that I wanted to. The reason I was sceptical had to do with the subject of 'art'. I simply could not relate to anything I had seen or experienced as 'art' so far. However, I found the idea worth supporting, that the Kunsthalle wanted to open its door to refugees, because refugees rarely find access to these kinds of places and in particular to projects that take place there. So I agreed, but because of Covid we had to postpone the project. I was beginning to worry that no one would want to come when it finally started. Fortunately, I was wrong: a diverse group of people came together; we laughed and talked a lot. It was so nice to see the joy of the participants to be engaged this way. I was impressed by how they got stuck in and how motivated they were. Almost all of the DiplomArt participants have had a negative asylum decision and have hardly any chance to do anything outside their accommodation or even to visit friends. They were all very happy to get to know the Kunsthalle Zürich and to have the opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts through art. Participating in DiplomArt was a great experience for me personally. I really appreciated how beautiful and valuable it is to be able to work with the participants. I admire each one of them for their perseverance, optimism and the strength to continue. It was a great honour to spend this time with all of you.