UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage

A picture of a display from the UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage exhibit
March 25, 2019

The Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights and the Lillian Goldman Law Library invite you to experience

Refugee Baggage 

On display in conjuction with the Schell Center’s Twenty-First Annual Bernstein Human Rights Smyposium Borders, Refuge and Rights

Located in the Lillian Goldman Law Library Reference Room from March 25 - April, 5, 2019

2 Artists.

10 Suitcases.

10 Real Stories.

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 attends Wesleyan University and is himself an Iraqi refugee. 

These stories are told by kind, genuine and impressive people that society sometimes labels as marginal and insignificant. 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, featuring architects, lawyers, journalists, professors - living and breathing proof of the power of the human spirit.

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