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The past decade has seen no shortage of images depicting the plight of the refugee. Perhaps the most famous of these is the upsettingly iconic photograph from 2015 of a drowned Syrian boy face-down in the surf. It’s no surprise that this photo was so widely distributed. It is singularly harrowing and blunt—a harsh reminder of desperate voyages and the culpability of those who refuse to help displaced peoples. And perhaps the greatest tragedy of this photo is that it is no longer an outlier; depictions of the refugee in anguish are a constant in the news-cycle, with no end to similar snapshots of suffering.
The problem with this flood of traumatic images is that it limits our mental picture of what the label of “refugee”Read More »