Last Wednesday, a photo was released of a Salvadoran man and his young daughter face down in the Rio Grande, who drowned while attempting to migrate from Mexico to Texas. This chilling shot brought yet more attention to the ongoing border dangers faced by migrants while attempting to find asylum in the US.

“It’s a sad day to talk about this, there aren’t many fairytale endings,” said Massimiliano Gioni, the artistic director of New York’s New Museum, the same day. Together with associate curator Natalie Bell, he’s assembled a timely new exhibition focusing on the history of migration in America. The Warmth of Other Suns: Stories of Global Displacement features 75 artists from over 15 countries, many who have experienced displacement firsthand. “It’s not exactly an uplifting exhibition, it might have to do with the spirit of the times, sadly,” he added.

The exhibition, showing until 22 September at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC, features work by American, Mexican, Iraqi, Moroccan and Brazilian artists, among others. “It brings together the responses of artists who have shown dramatic aspects of migration,” he adds. “There was a tradition of how desperate those journeys were, conditions have worsened.”

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