The WAVE – a metaphor for migration wave
“The diary of a refugee”

Technique: watercolor on paper, 30×30 cm, 2019.

An exercise in empathy

Through this watercolor series I propose an exercise in empathy, to transpose ourselves for a moment in those difficult situations between life and death that migrants go through. People of all ages, including children, risk their lives in the hope of reaching a better, safer and more peaceful place.
Unfortunately for some migrants this place ends up being at the bottom of the sea… every year there have been numerous victims in the Mediterranean, trying to save themselves.

According to the Missing Migrants Project data 66,257 migrants have disappeared in the last decade.

I tried to imagine what those nightmare moments would be like, lived in a drifting boat, without any hope, being at the end of my strength… A last thought, like a farewell message, swallowed by the roar of the waves.

Thoughts, memories, feelings, nightmares…:

“Mum, our long awaited journey turned into a nightmare…”

“There’s nothing to guide us, not even the Coast Guard…”

“Mum, I’m starving! We’re drifting for days now…”

“Mum, we’re drifting for days now; we’re surrounded by water but we’re dying of thirst…”

“The hope of a better day seems to have been an illusion”

“I could have never imagined the price of freedom being this high and the road there such a steep climb…”

“What to choose: the agony after the shooting or the seasickness before the drowning …?”

“Mum, my fellow men are off to a better place, taken there on the waves…”
“I saw my body floating in waves…”
“I’m sinking, now I’m free…”

“There’s nothing to guide us, not even the Coast Guard…”

“The hope of a better life seems to have been an illusion…”

“Here in EU, at best I’m ignored…”

“Is this the end?”