The MAGIC CARPETS: Paintings en Route is an art program initiated and supported by the Norwegian Embassy as an an attempt to empower, educate and encourage migrant children to express their fears and frustrations but also their hopes for the future, through art. The workshops were held at the four shelters (Mellon, Stegi+ Athens, Stegi+ Patras, and MDM) which house children and other vulnerable migrant groups; the shelters are financed through the EEA Grants. The workshops were designed and curated by artist Christina Nakou.
The EEA & Norway Grants are Norway’s contribution to the reduction of economic and social disparities in Central and Southern Europe, Greece among them. The “MAGIC CARPETS: Paintings en Route” exhibition was presented in November 2016 at Technopolis Cultural Center, Gazi, Athens. The exhibition was supported by the Bodossaki Foundation.
Most of the children - five to 18 years old - were unaccompanied, either because they have lost their parents in a war, on the way, or because their parents are either already in Europe or were left behind. Many children only spoke their mother tongue, thus making art and body language a necessary communication tool. Some children remain in the shelters for months awaiting reunification with their families.