I am Syria

As you can probably tell from past posts and projects I’ve worked on, the current refugee crisis breaks my heart. When I say refugee crisis, I should emphasise that refugees aren’t the problem. It’s the treatment of them by countries who have vast wealth and facilities *cough cough* Australia *cough*. Honestly.

I won’t go on about it right now as the purpose of this post is to share with you a recent illustration commission I created for The Guardian and UNHCR. Working for The Guardian is a bit of a dream, really. I consider them some of the last real journalists. Also, UNHCR do incredible work, so again I was humbled to work on such a meaningful piece. The illustrations help to explain the disastrous situation in Syria while reminding us that there is always the possibility of peace and a brighter future. The below is just a small section, to view the whole piece click HERE.

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Want to help out a couple of asylum seekers?

I’m part of a group who organise care packages to be sent to people wrongfully locked up in offshore detention centres. These asylum seekers fled dangerous conditions, only to endure more heart ache and persecution because our country can’t see past its own nose. These packages provide comfort and more importantly, a sense that they haven’t been forgotten. If you would like to help me cover the costs of the package I will be sending, please click the link below. Your help would be so very much appreciated.

https://www.chuffed.org/project/help-me-send-a-package-to-two-asylum-seekers-detained-in-manus

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illustration from a series I created for The Red Cross Australia.

Same as it ever was

I just finished this illustration as a protest of sorts. Hindsight is a dangerous thing. For at the time, those affected by atrocities throughout history were treated with suspicion and ill ease. But as years passed, the Western world embraced them (with arms still a little limp). And so we look back and wag our finger at our ancestors for not doing enough to help those in desperate need.

How are the asylum seekers of this time any different? I can feel the breeze of my great, great grand child’s finger wagging at me. I defensively call out to her from the past “…it’s our government’s fault!” and mostly, it is. But have I done enough to let them know what I won’t stand for?

 

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In Search of Safety illustrations for The Red Cross

I was so incredibly thrilled when recently approached by The Red Cross to work on an illustration commission. The project, funded by The Australian Government (which I find surprising) is to educate children about common myths surrounding asylum seekers. I created 7 illustrations, which will soon be pieced together by The Red Cross design team as a giant poster to be distributed amongst Australian primary school classrooms. I feel like misinformed adults could also gain a wider perspective from these facts. I’ll share each illustration with you in the coming days.

So here’s the first.

FACT 1: Are asylum seekers illegal?

NO. Everyone has the right to seek asylum. Asylum seekers do not break any Australian laws by simply arriving on boats or without permission. (Article 31 of the Refugee Convention)

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