acrylic, ink on paper
17" x 14"
A refugee is someone with a well-founded fear of persecution on the basis
of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social
group or political opinion, who is outside of his or her country of nationality
and unable or unwilling to return. Refugees are forced from their countries
by war, civil conflict, political strife or gross human rights abuses.
Refugees often arrive at camps physically exhausted and in poor health after
trekking for several days under harsh conditions. Others fare even worse, victims
of rape or violence from security forces, or having desperately crossed minefields
to reach their freedom.
For instance, in 1999, more than one million ethnic Albanians either fled
Kosovo or were forcibly removed by Serbian troops. Though neighboring states
sheltered most, like this man making his way to safety with an injured child
in his arms, arrival in refugee camps was just one more step in a treacherous
There are currently more than 12 million refugees in the world, housed far
from their ancestral homes in countries such as Jordan, the Democratic Republic
of Congo, Cyprus, the United States, Turkey, India and countless other destinations.
More than seven million of these have been more than five years in their “temporary” homes.
On top of this, another 21 million human souls are internally displaced, such
as newly homeless in Iraq, the Middle East and the Sudan. To live stateless
and far from home, often without even the basic human rights of access to education,
health care and a manner in which to earn a living is an unfathomable hardship.
All images on this site are copyright © 2008 by Tom Block Arts.
Please contact the artist for use of these images.