RefugiArte is an initiative of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) aimed at raising awareness about the experiences of immigrants and refugees forced to leave their homes, communities, countries and lives behind due to poverty, violence, political turmoil, and others. More than 50 Latin American artists have participated since the beginning of the project in 2015.
Desplazado azul by Ecuadorian artist, Punche, is one of the illustrations selected for RefugiArte 2020-2021. Through this engaging piece, the artist captures the emotional cost and the trauma that the immigration process may have on a person. We can see small bubbles full of memories that fade as the man travels what seems like an uncomfortable path. Perhaps synonymous with the difficulties that immigrants and refugees encounter on their journey. Punche describes his motive or inspiration for this piece: “When people have no choice but to abandon their home, their land, their loved ones, a process of uprooting may begin. As they are forced to move away, as they walk in their quest for safety, relative internal peace, food…, then family, friends, memories are left behind, and with them little pieces of what the person once was, maybe losing part of their self”.