august 2005 -

"Why am I being killed?" Drawing of a child that survided the Rwanda genocide in 1994, PapaInk, 01-09-2005

PapaInk collects and exhibits children’s art. Its website shows just why their drawings and paintings are worth collecting, as they are full of life, expressive and never boring.

You see this as soon as you look through their archive, where you will come across original subjects, such as the kangaroo (with baby in pouch) drawn by the five-year old Jenny. However, what really makes PapaInk fascinating is the historic collection of drawings by unnamed young artists from Kosovo, Sarajevo, Algeria and India. These depict houses with colourful gabled roofs that have big cracks in them, walls that are tumbling down and flames that are shooting out of the roof. It’s a child’s impression of an earthquake - or a civil war.

Do all wars look the same? Spanish civil war children mainly drew aeroplanes, whereas Kosovo children’s drawings feature a lot of barbed wire: flowers, the moon, an angel and even another kangaroo - all behind barbed wire. On the other hand, another collection contains neither aeroplanes nor barbed wire but does show a lot of men with knives and guns. One person beheading another, drawn with black lines and lots of red blood. The same type of weapon can be seen on many drawings, namely a type of club with dots on it - and in every drawing that red blood again. These artists are survivors of the genocide in Rwanda.

The drawings from Afghanistan, on the other hand, don’t have any blood but do show books being burned and men with beards, or else just a mother and child, as in the drawing by Zohal (aged 9). Mummy in a burkha: a hillock with feet.