Circuits of Children’s Testimony: Reading Syrian Children’s Drawings of Home

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In this article, we discuss Ben Quilty’s Home: Drawings by Syrian Children (2018) as a case study that explores how we might approach children’s life narratives that are mediated by adult curators. Children’s lives and stories demand recognition, but, reading them (within scholarly and activist or benevolent spaces), requires ethical methods; in particular, generous reading frameworks that attempt to read ‘through’ mediation, and beyond adult/child binaries, towards a greater recognition of the contexts that the child life narrators (in this instance, as artists) ask us to attend to. As we analyse a selection of the children’s drawings in Home, we ask, to what extent do these children’s life narratives, of explicitly interior lives, usefully test the limits of Quilty’s and other levels of mediation?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-502
Number of pages10
JournalLife Writing
Issue number4
Early online date16 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Refugee youth
  • life writing
  • Testimony
  • graphic narrative
  • children's voice
  • children’s testimony
  • drawing
  • Refugee


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