A mother waits in a school hallway, having been called in by her young daughter’s teacher for a meeting. She is called into a classroom and learns from her daughter’s teacher that her daughter has been struggling, both to get along with the other students and to overcome the trauma she experienced having fled Syria several months earlier. The teacher is concerned for her student and worries she isn’t dealing with the emotional fallout of what happened, but as much as the teacher wants to help, she can’t understand.
Later that evening, the mother tries to talk to her daughter, but is unsuccessful as it would mean facing her own pain. After she puts her daughter to bed, the mother may have a phone call with a family member still in Syria or something that motivates her to go out into the streets of Berlin with a bag of street artist’s gear. There, she scales a building to its rooftop and paints a large mural. The process of painting is emotional, raw and natural, a way of expressing what she couldn’t get the teacher to understand earlier. Later, she returns to her sleeping daughter and curls up in bed next to her, wrapping her arms around her with fingers stained with paint. As the sun rises the next morning, the mural is revealed – it’s a portrait of her daughter as the mother sees her, the subtle effects of what they’ve been through reflected in this piece. This is an action of a mother trying show the teacher, and in a way, the world, her daughter, to help spread understanding, empathy and compassion to bring a better future for her little girl.
Location: Berlin, Germany