UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage seeks to humanize the word “refugee.” Created during the summer of 2017, this multi-media installation is the work of Syrian-born, New Haven CT artist and architect Mohamad Hafez and Iraqi-born writer and speaker Ahmed Badr.
For UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage Hafez sculpturally re-creates rooms, homes, buildings and landscapes that have suffered the ravages of war. Each is embedded with the voices and stories of real people — from Afghanistan, Congo, Syria, Iraq and Sudan — who have escaped those same rooms and buildings to build a new life in America. Their stories are collected and curated by Badr, who is in graduate school at Harvard University and is himself an Iraqi refugee.
By giving these voices a tangible platform, Badr and Hafez invite the spectator to reexamine the word “refugee” and view it through a multidimensional lens. These are not merely stories of violence and war. These are stories of triumph and resilience.
Support for this exhibition has been provided by the Kalkin Family Exhibitions Fund, Walter Cerf Exhibitions Fund, and the 1675 Foundation
Short introductory video: