"I had tea with a refugee"
I’m a visual storyteller who studied the masters in graphic storytelling at LUCA School of art and for the final project I made a graphic novel about the refugee crisis in Europe. I am Belgian with Cambodian roots and grew up internationally. Storytelling and creating have always been a passion of mine. My interests lie in raising awareness on humanitarian issues through visual art.
The final product of the masters project is called “I had tea with a refugee”. It is a poetic documentary graphic novel depicting the stories of fourteen refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq and Sudan. The narratives explain the reasons these refugees fled their country of origin, the trajectories they followed on their journeys to Europe and their quests for seeking asylum in Belgium. The focus point tying all the stories together is the notion that refugees are just people like us with hopes, dreams and fears which is reflected by their real personal accounts. Monochromatic ink drawings and abstract monotype prints illustrate the emotions in each story.
Monotype printing as a figurative landscape for refugee storytelling
The thesis paper describes the process of creating my documentary book. It explores how other artists are depicting the refugee crisis through visual arts such as film, comics, posters and illustrations and how they document themes of travel, displacement and the surrounding social issues. I analyse the illustrative style and discuss the representation of the refugee crisis in the political documentary comic. Two subjects in the evolution of my work are considered:
a) The art of monotype printing in a figurative landscape of refugee storytelling
b) How comics can help people understand and relate to the refugee crisis
Feel free to email me if you would like to read my master thesis paper or my graphic novel - firstname.lastname@example.org