Simone alter Muri

Art can serve as a witness and a vehicle for social and political issues. I have been collaborating with “Humanity Crew” a humanitarian organization that specializes in international first response mental health work to refugees. I thank them for their work and for their permission to recreate, appropriate and change an image.

“Refugee Crisis: Dead Birds” addresses the issues of the current refugee crisis and the connection to refugees from the past. This mixed media piece printed on 3 panels of glass conveys the plight of refugees seeking refuge in Greece from Africa and Syria hoping to gain access to the European Union. Birds symbolize freedom. Refugees are like birds; they may be shot by hunters, attacked by other birds and may be unable to survive the sudden storms. Like birds not all refugees can overcome the hardship of the flight. I have been working on a series of appropriated and changed images in relation to refugees from the past and the present. I am working with a group called Humanity Crew and I have permission to use their photos. I would like to give thanks to the Humanity Crew for their work with refugees and for the permission to work with them, use and alter an image.

This work also references the Japanese internment camps. A period of time when our government and our society did not protect the human rights of others. The art intends for the viewer to see through, to and remember those who have been interned and those who are still in camps.

COVID has worsened the refugee crisis. I hope that the viewers are reminded of the struggles of others and the resilience that we must all have during these times. I hope that my art reminds the viewer of the struggles of others and the resilience that we must all have during these times.

Simone alter Muri is based in On the edge of Northampton Easthampton and Florence , MA

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