‘Life is movement’ by Isol from Argentina, who also wrote: ‘Share the world… The Earth and its people have no owners.’ Photograph: All image courtesy of the artist/Otter-Barry Books
An invitation to illustrators the world over to visualise the lot of the refugee using bird imagery resulted in a remarkable book of drawings and poems
It was Piet Grobler and Tobias Hickey, founders of the International Centre for the Picture Book in Society at the University of Worcester, who first came up with the idea: they invited illustrators, through social media and word of mouth, to contribute a bird postcard, as a metaphor for human migration, with a message attached. It could be whatever the illustrators liked: a poem, a quote, a personal greeting and had to carry a postage stamp from their country. The result was overwhelming and moving: 300 postcards flew in and were exhibited at the Bratislava Biennale (and later in South Africa and Nami Island in South Korea). Postcards were hung on vertical wires, the organisers’ intention to “replicate the precarious nature of flight”. If you touched a card, the others would swivel and move, the entire structure would tremble – a silent communications network.
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