As conflict and war continues across the world, artists are exploring ways to cut through the mainstream news narrative in order to highlight the ongoing refugee crisis. Lydia Ashman looks at current projects, artworks, and exhibitions that are tackling this urgent humanitarian and political issue.


Bern O’Donoghue began her project Dead Reckoning in April 2015, following the reports of two boats capsizing off the coast of Libya, which resulted in the deaths of 1,200 people.

“It was very distressing to read and hear the pejorative language used by some politicians and sections of the media in response to the accidents,” she says. “Where were the tributes? Who was telling these people’s stories? Why were we not identifying with them?

“I decided to make some work to bridge the distance that I could see widening between people who are displaced and those of us living in safety.”

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