MAKE ART NOT WALLS is a platform through which West African asylum seekers translate their experiences into works of visual art. Founded in 2016 by the artist Virginia Ryan, the organization provides an open studio to newcomers in the small town of Trevi in Italy. The art tools consist of recycled materials and items donated by shops and businesses. Through making art, the asylum seekers are provided with an occupation which facilitates coping with traumas in a therapeutic manner and at the same time allows them to introduce their stories to the community of Trevi. In their last exhibition in Rose Gallery in Los Angeles (in conjunction with Human Rights Watch), MAKE ART NOT WALLS featured a series of sequential, vividly rendered tableaux, in which each artist tells their story of leaving their home country. Although each story is uniquely expressed, certain visual themes that emerge from the collection reveal the commonality of refugees’ experiences: groups of figures huddled shoulder-to-shoulder in overcapacity boats and trucks; sleeping on floors; hiding in trucks; saying goodbye. The works are soon to be housed in the new Casa della Cultura in Trevi.