Read the conversation From a Distance: on the ethics of representing the refugee crisis, between Umut Erel and Behjat Omer Abdulla
Behjat Omer Abdulla's 'Who Are We?' Tate Exchange residency is kindly supported by the Swedish Embassy London.
Behjat Omer Abdulla: From a Distance
What would it mean to experience our own privileged lives as inextricably tied up with the exposed lives of less fortunate others elsewhere in the world? Under the fear of war, as thousands of families fled their homelands, a mother of twin infants started her journey to seek a safer place. During the journey, a tragedy occurred. Behjat explores these events through a series of drawings in order to reflect on their meaning and make connections to a wider audience.
From a Distance engages with the complex horizon of human understanding, exploring through the medium of drawing different ways of coping with the the brutality of exposure. Transmitting the complexity of migration stories to further audiences, Behjat's graphite drawings evoke subtle - almost invisible - hints of violence. Behjat developed 'From a Distance' after spending time listening and engaging with the residents of the Restad Gard Refugee Camp in Sweden in 2016.