Friday, March 16, 2012

Why did I make a sculpture on migrations?

G.S. Kharel - 2008

Dorothea Lange-1936

Numbers amaze me: how many nerve cells do our brains have and how much information is processed in a certain neural pathway? how many miles are there from earth to mars? how many bird species exist? One of the numbers that amazes me quite a bit is the number of people who has migrated. There are 200 million immigrants in the world today. Imagine the number of people who has migrated throughout the history; billions? People leaving their houses, neighbors, beds, everything with the hope of starting all over again.

While I am typing these letters, thousands of Syrians are trying to cross to Turkey to escape the current unrest. Will they ever be able to go back? During the World War II, nations migrated: everyone was on the move, peasants, collective farmers, intellectuals, army officers, landowners. Millions of people moved from India to Pakistan and vice versa when the two nations gained their independence from British colonial rule. Images of migrant workers fleeing Libya unrest, Serbian refugees fleeting Crotia, people moving in Bangladesh to escape flooding, the famous photograph of a mother with her two children migrating during the Great Depression have been occupying my mind for a long time. Eventually they found a way into a sculpture.

My sculpture “Migrations” is about 3 people leaving all they have behind. They have nothing to pack except their worries about the future. The woman on the far left side looks back one last time as if to save an image of what is being “past” at that moment. The second man has a little bag carrying the most essentials, perhaps some money, food, identification cards. The man in the front seems to be more hopeful – looking at the skies, same skies that will be there in a new life. I feel like more will be coming since I still can not stop thinking about all those people who has to suffer through migrations. 

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