Introduction [chapter]

Alice Massari
2021 IMISCOE Research Series  
Abstract"How do we see refugees? The refugee has become a multifaceted symbol, the most prominent political figure of our time" states the brochure of an art retrospective by Khaled Hourani, a Palestinian artist reflecting on the reduction of refugees to abstract symbols of victimhood by humanitarian representations. In the eyes of the artist, the blue figure (Fig. 1.1), so common in relief organizations´ visual depictions, is the migrating human being, without a specific national, religious,
more » ... hnic, or gender identity. Yet, the visual landscape of contemporary displacement is anything but abstract. Images of overcrowded boats in the Mediterranean, refugee camps, improvised shelters along migration routes, children and families in need, and people stranded behind fences and walls have come to constitute a powerful reminder of contemporary conditions of displacement for people on the move. Yet, the question remains: how do we see refugees?
doi:10.1007/978-3-030-71143-6_1 fatcat:uwhloto6iba23mvbqbufpen6oq