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Migrant, Sha Sarwari, Hazarai, contemporary art, Afghanistan

Like a moth to a flame

Like a moth to a flame is used as a metaphor for the often tragic plight of refugees. A moths fatal attraction to bright lights is a well-known allusion to a person who is ‘apt to be tempted by something that would lead to their downfall’.

Moths also symbolise determination, attraction and faith, they are driven towards light. Refugees share the same attributes as they are driven towards the ‘light’ of the West, like a beacon of hope to escape unliveable circumstances of war and oppression in their homelands.

However, for many this beacon of hope proves to be an illusion when refugees flee situations of human rights abuse to then face new abuses of political rejection, indefinite incarceration in detention centres, systemic abuse, politically motivated racism, journalistic stereotyping and social alienation. On some occasions the new abuses refugees face in the ‘light’ of the West lead to their demise, ‘like a moth to a flame.’

The work is made of printed news archive on silk, the article are portrayal of refugees and asylum seeker during 2003 at the time She was living on a temporary protection visa.

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