René Pérez Joglar, (also known as Residente), today announced new installments of his “Guerra” project – including a short documentary that explores the Syrian refugee crisis and a street art installation in collaboration with acclaimed French artist & photographer, JR. Residente’s “Guerra” Project is aimed at promoting peace and raising awareness about the victims of conflict across the globe. It was launched earlier this year, with his self-directed music video for his eponymous track “Guerra” that was nominated for 2 Latin Grammys in 2017. In total, Residente is nominated for 9 Latin Grammys this year, more than any other artist. Watch here
Residente’s short documentary on the refugee crisis, tracks his journey through Lebanon to the Syrian border where he visited victims of war that have fled Syria and have been forced to settle in the informal Zahle refugee camp and the Beqaa Valley. The film tells the story of over 600 refugees who have been forced from their homes and trapped in a vicious cycle of indentured servitude for nearly a decade. Residente exposes the contrasts between the hardships endured by the refugees and the luxuries enjoyed by the surrounding communities, by interviewing a diverse group of refugees, visiting their makeshift homes, participating in their cultural celebrations and joining them at work – where girls as young as 16 years old toil on fields for 10 hour shifts.The documentary culminates in Residente’s return to New York City, where he partners with acclaimed French visual artist & photographer, JR, to create a street art installation aimed at examining the refugee experience.
The installation is located at 225 Starr street in Brooklyn and is housed by “The Bushwick Collective” – a unique outdoor gallery that showcases art from around the globe, founded by Joe Ficalora. The installation is visible from street level, features a magnified photo of an anonymous refugee, taken by Alejandro Pedrosa at the Zahle refugee camp, and installed by JR in his emblematic style. The anonymous refugee is seen peering into New York City – a city he cannot travel to, in a country he is not welcome in. Through their collaboration Residente & JR hope to provide a permanent, visual call for peace & spark a productive conversation about addressing the global refugee crisis.