“Today, over 60 million people are living without a permanent home.” This was a striking quote on display at an exhibit called “Sanctuary & Sustenance: The Story of Many Journeys,” put on by ART WORKS Projects in honor of World Refugee Week, presented with the Center for Forced Migration Studies, Buffet Institute of Northwestern University. The exhibition is a multimedia display of photography, film, and music being shown in multiple cities across the U.S. and in Europe with the intention of showing audiences the long journey a refugee takes from displacement to settlement.
Alongside each exhibit is photography showcasing refugees living in that specific city. On display in Chicago’s Boombox in Wicker Park from June 19-27th was the work of Maren Wickwire, titled I miss you all. Wickwire is a filmmaker, designer, and photographer who uses her work to raise awareness for issues of social justice. For this project, she photographed refugees from Syria, Iraq, Laos, Cambodia, and the Republic of Congo who had to flee their home countries to move to Chicago between 1983 and 2016. The collection shows these refugees and their challenges, hopes, and dreams with the intention of helping community members better understand and support their new neighbors.
Loom participated as a vendor for this weeklong event. Our artisans have come to Chicago from all over the world, and we recognize that they face these struggles of adjustment. Through our weekly workshops, these women come together to learn new skills while gaining a source of income in order to help them build a sense of community and adjust to their new lives in Chicago. We are proud of our artisans’ continued resilience and positivity.