Migration: Portraits from a world that is on the move

George Butler captures the many lives of refugees and migrants in vivid pen and ink drawings that tell the story of people on the long road to a better life

The World Today Updated 30 July 2021 Published 1 August 2021 1 minute READ

The award-winning artist and illustrator George Butler has spent the past decade travelling the world, from Syria to Kenya, Palestine to Myanmar, recording the lives of people on the move.

Using drawing as an interview technique, he shares snippets of his conversations with those who are leaving for other lands, those who have arrived and those who are left behind. The result is Drawn Across Borders: True Stories of Migration a kaleidoscope of experiences, at times colourful and bursting with life, at others grey and desolate.

‘It’s an unusual feeling to walk into a place that everyone is leaving,’ he writes. ‘I have been stared at as if I am lost or mad, and sometimes I have felt as if I am both. However, by resisting the temptation to turnaround and walk away, I have made these drawings.  I made them in refugee camps, war zones and on the move, and as I drew, people told me their stories.’

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