Exhibits › Refugees by the Shore

Since VE Day, 8 May 1945, the world has been marked by mass movements of civilian refugees fleeing armed conflict and famine. Scholars estimate that at least 40 million people were displaced by WWII.

This includes 250,000 Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and over 800,000 Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews running from government-sponsored violence in Arab lands triggered by the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

During this period, many Jewish and Gentile refugees were transported to new lives in new lands by ships. The image of homeless people waiting by the shore for safe passage is iconic.

Currently, there are an estimated 4 million refugees from the civil war in Syria. They are primarily flooding into Europe, Canada, and the U.S. The economic, social, and political repercussions cannot be fully fathomed at this point in time. Some informed estimates put the potential number of climate change and sea rise refugees over the next 50 years in the many tens of millions or higher. But these are just theoretical models.

Yet one thing seems certain—the human race is on the move like never before.


Imagery: The figures and families were abstracted to create more universal human forms. Random vertical lines with a dot on top suggest lit candles or upright emaciated people. Shore birds both on the beach and in the sky symbolize hope.

Poetry: The words loosely conform to a Japanese haiku form called “tanka.” It has 31 syllables. This literary structure was chosen because of its sparseness and tendency to let things be unsaid but strongly implied.

Prints: This Artist Proof series includes 6 fine art figurative prints and 6 poetry prints. The sheets are letter-size, archival gloss paper with pigmented, light-fast inks. The images can be scaled up and printed on 17x22 inch archival paper or larger.

Contact Bob Barancik

email: bobcreates@earthlink.net
cell+text: 215.964.3937


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