WATERLOO, August 11, 2009 - Pictures Talk, a Canadian Red Cross exhibition showcasing 25 photos taken by young survivors of the 2004 tsunami, was unveiled today at the Waterloo Button Factory and Kitchener's Fairview Park Mall. The exhibition offers a rare glimpse of post-tsunami recovery through a child's eyes.
"The children who took these photographs are survivors of the devastating tsunami - many of them lost loved ones and friends, their homes and all of their belongings," said Karen Charles, disaster response manager for the Red Cross in Southwestern Ontario. "By providing a glimpse into the lives of these children today, the exhibit offers a unique perspective on how life returns for young survivors in disaster-affected communities. Pictures Talk gives our community the opportunity to see up close the positive effect their tremendous outpouring of support has provided to the tsunami survivors."
In 2008, the Canadian Red Cross provided young Indonesians, aged eight to sixteen years old, with disposable cameras and an invitation to photograph what represented their world today. The result is Pictures Talk, a story of hope and renewal four years after the tsunami. The exhibit is a collection of 25 striking photographs selected from more than 1,000 photos taken by 41 Indonesian children.
Pictures Talk will be on display from August 11 to 21. The exhibition is open to the general public during regular business hours, Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm.
Red Cross delegate, Kathy Mueller, a former newscaster in London, ON was on hand for the unveiling. Ms. Mueller has been working in Indonesia for the last year and was able to provide updates on post-tsunami recovery.
"The Waterloo Community Arts Centre is pleased to have this exhibit on display, as it uses art to take a positive step in a community's development," said Lauren Judge, general manager of the Button Factory.
Many Canadians will recall watching news on Boxing Day 2004, of the Indian Ocean tsunami and subsequent earthquakes which killed more than 225,000 people and left another 1.6 million homeless. Tens of thousands of homes, schools and hospitals were destroyed.
Canadians responded to the disaster in record-breaking numbers, donating more than $200 million to the Canadian Red Cross. These donations had even more impact when CIDA introduced a matching program, contributing another $131 million. Canadian donations have helped almost 4 million survivors rebuild their lives.
Individuals and corporations in the Kitchener-Waterloo area were especially generous, donating more than $2 million to the Red Cross to support tsunami relief and recovery.
"The response in our community was overwhelming," said Ms. Charles. "Pictures Talk is an opportunity for everyone here to see how their donations continue to touch the lives of so many people who were affected by the tsunami."
For more information about the Red Cross tsunami relief and to view the virtual Pictures Talk exhibit, please visit www.redcross.ca/tsunami