Journeys Drawn: Illustrating the refugee crisis

House of Illustration’s new show includes 40 works by different illustrators – three of whom are refugees themselves. We speak to curator Katie Nairne about how illustration allows artists to show a different side to an already widely documented subject

Creative Review: Why did you want to put on the exhibition now?
Katie Nairne: There has always been political debate around the subjects of asylum and immigration, but it seems it is often discussed in a way that can obscure the experiences of refugees themselves. The idea of the exhibition was to redress this balance by bringing together illustration that gives a glimpse of the individual journeys refugees have experienced, whether through reportage, comics or animation.

Although the number of people arriving in Europe was at its height in 2015, there are still many displaced people who are seeking shelter, not only here but across the world. The UN estimates that there are currently 25.4 million refugees worldwide, and this doesn’t include asylum seekers or people who have been displaced from their homes within their home countries.

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