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Refuge and Refugee -and- The Art of Surviving: The Journey of the Karen Refugees

Refuge and Refugee -and- The Art of Surviving: The Journey of the Karen Refugees

The Northern Illinois University Art Museum’s exhibition Refuge and Refugee as well as The Art of Surviving: The Journey of the Karen Refugees in Illinois organized by the Center for Burma Studies at NIU opens in the Art Museum’s Altgeld Hall galleries runs through November 12.

The exhibitions examine refugee experiences through recreations of home, glimpses of refugee camps, artifacts, textiles, oral histories and photographs as well as contemporary art media grappling with international refugee and immigration crises.

Refuge and Refugee --
The work of ten artists including one from the Museum’s permanent collection are presented in an examination of the global humanitarian crises as displaced persons forced to flee their native countries attempt to find refuge elsewhere.
The artists, moved by current events and news reports, express their shock, horror, and critique of government polices as well as compassion for those impacted by these measures. Several of the artists with immigrant backgrounds relate their own struggles with identity to the inner struggle of missing home and attempting to adapt to a new land.
Artists were selected from a national call for entry by the exhibition advisory committee and include: Luciana Abait, Karen Albanese Campbell, Yolanda del Amo, Tere Garcia, Judith Joseph, Rebecca Keller, Eddy A. López, Stephen Walt and Kathy Weaver.

The Art of Surviving: The Journey of the Karen Refugees in Illinois --
This exhibition is based on work done by NIU PhD and MA students who either lived within the refugee camps along the Burma-Thai border or who worked with Illinois Karen Refugee communities for the last 15 years.
The exhibit looks at life in Burma, life in the refugee camp and life in the United States.
The Karen, an ethnic group in southern Burma/Myanmar, has been in conflict with the government since 1949, first calling for an independent state and now representation in national government. During the decades-long conflict and violent military persecution many Karen escaped to refugee camps and/or resettled to a third country.
The exhibition ties the minority Karen refugee experience to a global perspective, engaging visitors in a critical dialogue on forced migration and displacement and what visitors can do to advocate for local refugee communities.

A full calendar of events including in-person, hybrid, Zoom virtual program URLs, as well as current COVID-19 visitor guidance may be found by visiting niu.edu/artmuseum.

Every week through Nov 12, 2021.
Tuesday: 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Wednesday: 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Thursday: 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM
Friday: 12:00 PM - 06:00 PM
Saturday: 12:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Artist Group Info