Goya in Lebanon

Glasses, boxes, lights and trash for a better life


How can we address the needs of our community? How can we use our own creative talents for the common good? S27 did not have these questions in mind, when conceiving the project GOYA. It was the participants themselves, who set the focus on giving instead of being creative just for their own sake.

GOYA is an artistic workshop-project that seeks to uncover the vocational and creative talents of young Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. The project is named after the famous painter Francisco de Goya, who fought fearlessly for the rights of the disadvantaged through its art, and closely related to the experiences we have made with our project Bildungsmanufaktur.

The first installment of the project took place in October/November 2017 in the refugee camp in Bourj el-Barajneh, a suburb of Beirut. Venue and partner was Jafra Meeting Place, a cultural space where the youth of the camp can hang out, meet and organize many cultural activities.

In a creative workshop a group of youth with the help of artists from Berlin and Beirut took over the rooftop terrace of Jafra Meeting Place and turned it into a one week maker’s space. The goal was for the participants to design objects, bringing their own ideas to life.

ADD + Social Design Studio

During the creative workshop the participants decided to found their own social design studio called ADD+. They aim to support their local community by recycling used materials into local products and develop concepts for improving the communal infrastructure of Bourj el-Barajneh. Four ideas were developed already during the workshop:

ADD+ Glass transforms used bottles into drinking glasses that can be used in the street-side coffee shops.

ADD+ Light addresses the lack of street lighting in the narrow alleyways of the camp and the dangerous mingling of electric wires and water pipes. The wires and pipes can be separated with a specifically developed bar spacer. Waterproof lampshades made of recycled materials can be installed to light the streets at night.

ADD+ Box transforms old plastic boxes into tool kits. The first prototype is used by the artist Tania, who will use it to store and transport her painting materials.


ADD+ Trash addresses the trash in the streets. It is an offer for a playful and easy way to keep the streets clean by collecting the trash and creates an income by recycling the materials.

Next steps

ADD+ will continue as a group to further develop and refine its ideas on how to address their community’s needs, building on the workshop results. S27 will support the young designers in their aim to establish a long-term initiative.

Furthermore, S27 will work with partner organizations on a joint educational programme, which will make visible the vocational and creative talents of young refugees. In summer and autumn 2018 we are planning to organize a series of workshops in Beirut, where artists from Beirut and Berlin will develop a mutual artistic vision for the programme.

Team: Housam, Jad, Jihad, Ali, Hussein, Omar, Tania, Mohamad, Abed, Ranin

In cooperation with:

Funded by: