I miss you all. | 2016 | Photography | Chicago

Over 60 million people are currently without a permanent home. They have had to flee because of war or persecution. Through photography, and oral history, this project tells the story of individuals resettling to the US and our obligation to provide welcome to the New Americans. The exhibition explores the transitional experience of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Laos, Cambodia and the Republic of Congo, coming to Chicago between 1983 and 2016. The upcoming exhibition is between the 19th and 27th of June in Chicago at the BOOMBOX

I miss you all. is produced by ART WORKS Projects, a Chicago-based organization that employs art to raise awareness of and educate the public about significant human rights issues.

 

 

People from around the world, plagued by wars, persecution and natural disaster, are forced to flee their home and find sanctuary elsewhere. Over the past decades, Chicago has become one of the largest sites of refugee resettlement in the United States, home to hundreds of thousands of refugees over the course of its history. The strong network of mutual aid societies play a critical role to welcome refugees and help the new Americans throughout the resettlement process as well as serve as an anchor to connect to the greater community, make friends and preserve cultural identities in a foreign land. Over the last couple of month I connected with families from Syria, Iraq, Republic of Congo, Laos and Cambodia that came at different times to Chicago when fleeing their home country.  While struggling to meet the expectations of almost immediate financial and cultural independence, volunteers help to provide language classes and assist with the job search. Thankful to have found a new place to raise their children, hardly a day goes by, where their thoughts and minds are not concerned about the family members they had to leave back home. All agreed, this was one of the hardest decisions they all had to face but as Majid said to me; You have to have a goal, don’t let the situation pull you down’ there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”