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Traces of Survival
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This compelling book is the result of a project intended to visually communicate the hardships endured by Iraqi communities. Utilizing art materials donated to camps by the Ruya Foundation for Contemporary Culture in Iraq, these 350 drawings were created by some of the country's 1.8 million refugees, providing a necessary outlet for their immense suffering and struggles associated with being temporarily displaced from their vocations as lawyers, teachers, farmers, and mothers. Originally presented as an exhibition at the 2015 Venice Biennale, this publication features a large group of these drawings exclusively selected by the artist and activist Ai Weiwei. Harnessing the power of visual art as a means for both personal expression and socio-political awareness, this innovative book represents the humanistic effort to provide a voice for the underrepresented and their unimaginable strife. Mercatorfonds is donating all profits from the sale of this book to the refugee camps in Iraq.
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About the Author

Tamara Chalabi is chairman of the Ruya Foundation. Philippe Van Cauteren is director of S.M.A.K and curator of the Iraq Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale.

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