Friday, June 16, 2017

“We Walk Together in Search of Liberty” by Claire Passmore

“We Walk Together in Search of Liberty”
by Claire Passmore

This is one in a series of posts featuring an artist whose work is included in the Threads of Resistance exhibition. 

Artist’s Statement:    
March 15, 2011, Syria: popular protests began in many parts of the country, expressing discontent toward the government of Bashar al-Assad. His government responded with brutal force. Since then a great number of alleged human rights violations have occurred, initiated by many groups. Mass executions, chemical weapons, thermobaric weapons and cluster bombs have all been used on the population. It is estimated that around half a million people have been killed. Those who were able have fled the country by car, train plane, and boat and on foot, walking together. Human traffickers have made a fortune. Politicians have “made their name.” By March 2017 the number of refugees that have fled Syria exceeded 5 million and more than 6 million others are internally displaced. More than 50% of the refugees are children. But this is not about numbers. It is about people. This conflict has taken many complex twists and turns, and the horrors the refugees have experienced are unimaginable to those of us who live safe lives far from this place. Many people have welcomed the refugees. Many people have not. To them I say this…

Put yourself in their shoes for just a moment. Imagine packing a single bag, gathering what is left of your family together, and closing the door to your home for the last time. You have left your job, your car, your possessions. Everything you ever worked for. There is no longer any food, no water, no shelter. It has all been destroyed. So you start to walk in the hope that you can be somewhere safe. Where? Who knows? But anywhere would be better than here.

In the years to come, when those children are grown into adults, what will they think of us, and how will they react to us – the rest of the world? Will they say, “It’s OK – you did your best. There were a lot of us and you had your lives to lead. We understand that your country was ‘full’ and that you were broke and had no more money to spend on anyone else.” Or will they be furious at the way they were treated in their hour of desperate need? Herded into camps, hounded and chased out of towns, cities and countries, left to fend for themselves, banned from entry…

And what will happen then?

Hear a message from Claire about her piece below:

1 comment:

  1. Whenever righteous behavior is needed, it's interesting that the most effective argument is always the one that appeals to self interest. Why should we work to save the earth and all it's wonders? Because to fail to do so means our own extinction. Why should we act when our fellow humans are in need? Because to fail to do so means our own extinction. No matter the crisis, the answer is always "because it is in our own best interest"....and in the best interest of our children!


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