4 Refugee Artists Reframing Their Narrative

Uprooting your life is a challenging concept in any form, and to do so when faced with danger and adversity is truly harrowing. But that’s not the story these artists are telling.

These artists are reminding us that when confronted with chaos and tragedy, art goes on. The need for creative expression greater than ever, they are using their creativity to tell the stories that remind us there is progress to be made.

Check out their work, and get inspired.

1. Mohammed Al-Amari, Syria

“Exile From One’s Country” by Mohammed Al-Amari

Mohammed’s work focuses on the frustrating limbo that many refugees find themselves in. This work explores the feelings that rush in when we are trapped between two countries, no certain future ahead. Sadness is permitted, but hope is required.

2. Sonita Alizadeh, Afghanistan

Sonita is a rapper, but truly she is a translator. A translator of the message that wasn’t being spoken, to the language of our hearts and minds.

Her work speaks about the reasons she was forced to leave home, reminding us the importance of receiving each refugee with open hearts, ready to hear the story they fought so hard to share.

3. Parmis, Iran

“Quiet Noise” by Parmis

Parmis is an Iranian artist fighting to begin a new story – one of the hope Mohammed’s work suggests.

Her work – all created with found and donated materials – strives to bring peace to the chaotic mind of an uncertain life.

4. Amal Kassir, Syria

Amal speaks with a power that carriers her words to the forefront of our attention. Her poetry is for those who couldn’t leave, reminding us of the urgency of need and action. This performance from Brave New Voices 2012 is one of the poetry festival’s most remembered moments.