What is a refugee?

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Refugees are those who are fleeing their own homes as their lives are in danger. They try to find ‘refuge’ or ‘safety’ in other countries whose people will let them enter and live there. With all the fighting and war in parts of the world like Syria, there have been many refugees trying to find new places to live. This has created what is known as the ‘refugee crisis’, where there are too many people trying to find new homes in countries where there are already fewer jobs and resources. 

This refugee crisis is hard for the refugees who don’t know where they and their families will finally be accepted, as well as for host countries whose people are already suffering. It is a big topic of discussion in various political and business forums. It is also a big topic of discussion for the the various art forms – speech, dance, painting, sculpture and music.

A big festival of art and sculpture held in Kochi, India, this year also addressed the refugee crisis. Take a look at this beautiful sculpture at the festival, by Alex Seton who was trying to portray the plight of refugees.

Alex Seton’s work at the Kochi Biennale 2017

At first glance, this looks like a hunched figure sitting with a white plastic sheet draped over it. A closer look reveals that the sculpture is entirely craved of marble.

There’s no face inside the sheet as Alex Seton wants you to imagine yourself in that situation. As art often does, this Australian artist’s work evokes a multitude of emotions. What does it make you feel?

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